Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced that his father Dean Flake died on Monday night at the age of 85.
After growing up on their father’s F Bar Ranch, Dean Flake, who had been a teacher, and three brothers bought out their father and ran the ranch as a partnership.
Dean Flake and his wife Nerita raised the future senator and his 10 brothers and sisters on the ranch until Dean Flake sold out to his brothers in 1996, according to a profile of Nerita Flake in the White Mountain Independent.
Jeff Flake made the announcement on Twitter, calling Dean Flake “my hero, my idol, my father.”
The finest man I’ve ever known passed away today, Dean Flake. My hero, my idol, my father. pic.twitter.com/p9cLw1KivF
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) June 27, 2017
It was unclear if Flake’s father’s death will cause for him to miss the vote on the Republican health care bill in the Senate. Flake has not taken a position on the vote.
But Jason Samuels, Flake’s communications director, tweeted Flake was scheduled to be in Washington vote on a motion to proceed for the bill.
According to Ancestry.com and a birth certificate from the Arizona government, Dean Maeser Flake was born in 1931 in Snowflake, Ariz., the same town where the Arizona Republican grew up.
The town was partially named after his great-great grandfather William J Flake, according to the senator’s website.
Dean Flake later served as mayor of Snowflake and was a bishop in the Mormon Church.
“If one of the greatest gifts a child can receive is to be raised by an honorable father, my 10 siblings and I were blessed in spades,” the senator wrote in a 1998 guest column in The Arizona Republic. “Not only is our father the most admirable man we know, we were raised on a ranch with a bunch of cousins who felt the same way about their fathers as we did about ours.”