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Staffers for Resources, Snowe Die

Longtime House Resources Committee staffer John Rishel died May 9 of a heart attack. He was 58.

Rishel, a former geologist in Alaska, had served on the panel since 1995. He was a legislative assistant for the Resources subcommittee on energy and mineral resources.

“John brought a passion to Resources issues that made a strong impression on everyone he worked with,” Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) said in a statement.

A native Washingtonian, Rishel earned a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

He is survived by a brother, Roger Rishel.

Another Hill staffer, Mary Bowers, Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) state scheduler and assistant to the chief of staff, died earlier this month from ovarian cancer. She was 28.

Bowers, who had served the Pine Tree State’s senior Senator since 1999, attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point before transferring to the University of Maine at Orono after being diagnosed with cancer. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in political science from that institution in 1998.

Prior to joining Snowe’s staff, Bowers worked briefly with Presidential Classroom.

“Mary was the bright light of the office. She loved politics [and] helping the people of Maine,” said Snowe Chief of Staff Jane Calderwood.

Bowers is survived by her husband, Wayne Rolland, her parents, and a sister.

— Bree Hocking

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