SALEM — Friends, colleagues and a who’s who of Oregon politicians packed the House chamber in Salem to remember former Gov. Vic Atiyeh, the nation’s first Arab-American governor and the last Republican to hold the job in Oregon.
Atiyeh died in July at age 91. His family held a private burial, and Wednesday’s service gave the public a chance to say goodbye.
Atiyeh was governor from 1979 until 1987. He established trading ties with Asia while shepherding the state through a severe recession and dealing with the Rajneesh cult in Central Oregon.
Republican Rep. Greg Walden and Democratic former Gov. Barbara Roberts were among those who spoke.
Roberts praised Atiyeh’s bipartisanship during the recession and noted his popularity after leaving office, saying: “Oregon never forgot him because he never forgot Oregonians.”