Weno, Chuuk (January 21, 2014): Chuuk State Governor Johnson S. Elimo declared a State of Mourning in Chuuk immediately after he received the news of the passing of the Late Honorable Lieutenant Governor Ritis K. Heldart, who was pronounced dead on January 4, 2014 in a Seattle hospital, State of Washington, USA, where he was on medical referral and living with his families for the past months.
The Late Honorable Ritis K. Heldart was the first Chuuk Lieutenant Governor to pass away while holding office since Chuuk gained self-government in 1978. The Late Heldart was first appointed in October 2011 by Gov. Elimo and confirmed by The Senate to fill the vacancy created when Gov. Elimo, who was then the Lieutenant Governor, assented to the governorship after former Governor Wesly W. Simina was elected to the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia in August 2011. The Late Honorable Lt. Gov. Heldart was the gubernatorial running mate of Gov. Elimo in a victorious election, and their first full term administration was installed April 16, 2012.
The Late Honorable Heldart had long years of public service, including a 16-year teaching experience with the Chuuk Department of Education, a post with the FSM Consulate Office in Guam, at different times serving as a delegate in both State and National Constitutional Conventions, and as Governor Representative to the Mortlock Islands -- devoting himself to both civic and private lives. He graduated from the Eastern Oregon University, USA.
The remain of the Late Honorable Heldart is tentatively scheduled to arrive Chuuk at 10:00 in the morning of January 24, 2014. He will be received at the Chuuk International Airport by the Leaders of the State, friends, and family. A State Funeral will be held in tribute and honor of the fallen Leader at his family residence in Iras Village, Weno Island.
The Late Honorable Lt. Governor Ritis K. Heldart was born to the late Paramount Chief Kolid Heldart, and the late Elina Toses Alanso of Nama, Mortlock Islands on October 8, 1953. He is survived by his wife, the former Linda Nakao Sonis, and their six children: Manny, Pasky, Patraski, Rilinda, Thrilinda, and Mailinda.
For further information, contact the Chuuk Public Affairs Office at 330-2347 or email Mr. Angelino Rosokow at email@example.com.