By Lacey Watt | The Times-Post

GREENFIELD — House Representative Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) was recently honored by the Indiana House of Representatives with a resolution recognizing his 26 years of service to District 53, presented at a House Chamber meeting on Feb. 22.

Cherry will retire in November after serving portions of Hancock and Madison counties — including Pendleton —since 1998.

House Resolution 22 was introduced by Rep. Jack Jordan (R-Bremen), stating this resolution is a highlight of his eight-year legislative career and honors Cherry’s work since being elected.

Jordan said Cherry is caring and committed to everyone he meets — there are no strangers. Jordan said Cherry is a man for the people, inside and outside of the statehouse, listening and engaging and being excited to help.

“He would do anything for any one of us. I spilled coffee on my shirt yesterday and I had to be careful because I knew he would literally give me the shirt off his back,” Jordan laughed.

Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) said it was good fortune to be seatmates with Cherry in both the Ways and Means Committee and in caucus. After a day of riding together on a golf cart, Karickhoff saw the parallels in each other’s lives with their families and public service.

“From that day forward I knew I had a brother in the legislature that saw the world, had the same struggles in their life, so God bless you Bob, I’m going to miss you,” Karickhoff said.

Rep. David Heiene (R-New Haven) said the institutional knowledge Cherry brings to the body is unmatched and his mentorship will truly be missed.

About 20 representatives highlighted his vast knowledge, his being a Boilermaker and his deep love for his wife, five children and 12 grandchildren.

Cherry closed the resolution mentioning his children and grandchildren, listing their accomplishments and saying how proud he is of his family.

He also highlighted moments throughout his time serving as representative.

“I felt like I attended my own funeral,” Cherry said, also mentioning how it was an honor and nice tribute where his wife and many children and grandchildren were able to attend. “It was very fitting.”

Cherry said hearing many representatives speak of him as a kind, knowledgeable person and mentor to many was overwhelming, not knowing that many people felt that way about him.

“”It was certainly nice to hear it from people… can’t say it didn’t bring tears,” Cherry said.

Cherry said once he retires he wants to spend more time with his 12 grandchildren, also being able to attend games where four of his grandchildren play Division 1 sports.

“I still got public service at heart, so we’ll see where that leads me,” Cherry said.

Cherry serves as vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, an alternate on the State Budget Committee, a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, House Elections and Apportionment Committee and House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee.

Cherry also is chairman of the State Fair Advisory Committee and a member of the White River State Park Development Commission, formerly serving as chairman of the Agricultural Advisory Council.

After 26 years of service to Hancock and Madison counties, Cherry will retire in November.

“While I’m excited to begin this new chapter, I know I will miss serving Hoosiers alongside so many of my colleagues and friends,” Cherry said in a press release announcing House Resolution 22.

During legislation this year, Cherry authored House Bill 1004, designed to help cover cost-of-living gaps for retired public employees by providing a one-time, post-retirement payment. Those retired public employees include teachers, conservation officers and state police officers who are a part of Indiana’s public pension program.

Before becoming representative for District 53, Cherry was active in local government, serving on Hancock County Council, the county planning commission and the Greenfield Board of Zoning Appeals.

As Cherry closed his comments on House Resolution 22, he said some of the staff thinks he should write a book, and while he said one day he might, for now he said he leaves with a saying.

“Life is like a roll of toilet paper — you get near the end it goes pretty darn quick.”