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John Howes                           Panax New Service                      1979
Washington----Longtime U. S. Senate aide, Oliver J. Dompierre, a native of Negaunee, last week retired from his post as floor assistant to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, R-Tenn.

Dompierre's retirement caps a career in government service that spanned the terms of nine presidents, starting during the Hoover administration when he went to work as a stenographer for the U. S. Census Bureau in July, 1930.

After leaving the Census Bureau in 1932, Dompierre became a secretary to the late Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg, R-Mich., and later for the late U..S. Rep. John R. Bennett of Ontonagon.

He stayed with Bennett until he enlisted in the U. S. Navy during World War II. After nearly two years in the Navy, Dompierre was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Senior Grade and went back to the Capitol to work for Sen. Homer Ferguson-R-Mich.

Ferguson, however, was defeated in 1954 and Dompierre then went to work for Senate Republican Leader William Knowland of California and finished his career working for Knowland's successors, Everett Dirksen of Illinois, Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Baker, the present Republican leader.

Baker was one of several senators paying tribute to Dompierre..."Few Americans have labored as long for the United States Senate, have been such a part of Senate history, nor served the U. S. Senate and the United States of America better than Oliver Dompierre," Baker said.

During his service with the Senate, Dompierre also received his law degree from Columbia Law School of Catholic University and is now a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

"I have truly enjoyed my years in government" Dompierre said. "Now, my wife and I are going to do some traveling, something we've always enjoyed doing."

Dompierre is married to the former Randy Fallen of Ishpeming. They have two daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He still has maintained contacts with friends of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, having graduated from Negaunee High School and retaining his official voting residence in Negaunee.




Mr. Stevens: “Mr. President, we shall be in session Wednesday and that will be the last day of service to the Senate of Oliver J. Dompierre, whom we all know as Dom. He will have completed over 48 years of service to the U. S. Senate on that day."

"It has been my privilege to work with him and to have known him for many years and I take this occasion to wish him well."

"He has not only served the Senate for over 48 years, he has been married now 48 years."

"He saw service in the Navy, and I am certain that his distinguished career in the Senate is something that my good friend, the Senator from Maryland who has the honor to claim Dom as a constituent, would like to comment upon."

"For myself and for the minority leadership, let me wish our good friend the best of luck in the future. We know we will see him often. I hope to see him when we get a chance to go to the beach in Delaware, where I know he will be hanging out."

"It is a sad thing to see him go, but on the other hand, it is a happy thing to know he has got such a good family and a tremendous partner to go on to live the balance of his life with, which I hope will be a very long time."

"I yield to my good friend from Maryland.”
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Mr. Mathias: “I thank the Senator from Alaska.  I merely want to associate myself with his comments and the good wishes that he extends to Mr. and Mrs. Dompierre."

"I guess he is the closest thing to a Senator. The fact, as the Senator from Alaska pointed out, he served in the Senate 48 years and has been married 48 years means that Mrs. Dompierre has led a very difficult life for all but 1 year of their marriage, and I hope the period which is beginning on Wednesday will be a period of great happiness for both of them, in which they will have time to enjoy each other's company and to enjoy the company of their family."

"I have a particular interest in their family.  Mr. and Mrs. Dompierre have two daughters, one of whom, Mrs. Nottingham, has been a member of my staff for a number of years."

"We share a number of things in common; among them the fact that we both served in the U. S. Navy during World War II, and I think that really demonstrates the consistent sense of patriotism and dedication that Mr. Dompierre has brought to this job over the years."

"The very desk from which I am speaking this moment is a desk which was at one time used by a great Member, one of the giants, who served in this body, Arthur Vandenberg, and it is appropriate that I should speak from this desk because Dom served with Senator Vandenberg as well as with Senator Ferguson."

"He has been floor assistant to the Senate minority leaders, men such as Senator Knowland and Senator Dirksen, so he has had an integral part in the work of the Senate for almost half a century."

"He has known what was happening before it happened, and in some cases I suspect he made it happen."

"It is the kind of staff career which is absolutely essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the U. S. Senate. Without people of this level of competence and this depth of experience, the U. S. Senate could not be the institution that it is today."

"I think we all join with the Senator from Alaska in saying good luck to Dom, to his wife Randy, and many, many happy years ahead.”
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Mr. Stevens:  “Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Maryland. As I said I am sure all Members on this side wish Dom and his family well.”

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Mr. Robert C. Byrd.:  “Mr. President, I want to add my comments so ably expressed by the acting Republican leader and Mr. Mathias, with respect to Oliver Dompierre."

"I have during my now going on 21 years of service in the Senate, found Mr. Dompierre to be always a very cooperative, thoughtful, considerate, courteous individual who has put the interests of the Senate above all, who has worked well with all Members on both sides, and who has rendered a distinct service to the Senate and to the Membership over the years and his years of service go back well beyond my years of service to of the Senate or for that matter to the Congress, to both houses of Congress."

"He has served over 48 years in the U. S. Senate, and that is a period of time that would cover services of men like Senator Vandenberg and Ferguson.  Mr. Dompierre was floor assistance to the Senate minority leader Dirksen, so he has rendered an effective assistance to leaders over a long period of time; and as I say, to the Senate itself, which is larger than all of it's components."

"I regret to see Mr. Dompierre leave his service in the Senate. There comes a time when every person has to say "This is enough".  In his judgment I suppose he feels that the time has come.”

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Mr. Stevens: “The way he looks today he must have come right out of grade school or  before he went to grade school. He could not possibly have been an employee for 48-49 years. He actually was here when the Republicans were in the majority. I would remind the majority leader, Senator Knowland was the majority leader and Mr. Dompierre was with him, so he had had a distinguished career, and I thank my good friend from West Virginia for joining in thanking Mr. Dompierre for the service to the Senate as a whole.”

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Mr. Robert C. Byrd:  “I want to express to Dom my compliments and my gratitude, which I have already done, but I also want to express to Mr. Dompierre my good wishes for the future."

"I hope he will let us see him from time to time when he comes back to the Senate Chamber to visit with his many friends who number not only those on his side of the aisle but those on my side of the aisle who want to welcome him back from time to time. We will all remember the benefits the Senate has derived from his ability and his dedication."

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Mr. Stevens:  “I thank the Senator.”

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Mr. Baker: “ Mr. President, I want to express my appreciation for the extraordinary and devoted service of Oliver J. Dompierre to the U. S. Senate. On yesterday, Dom retired from his position as assistant to the Republican leaders after 48 years and 8 months of service to his country. The bulk of that service was with the U. S. Senate and most of it in the Republican leader's office."

"The late Senator Bill Knowland that brought Oliver Dompierre to the leader's office , where he served as administrative assistant to the leader under both Senator Knowland and my father-in-law Senator Everett Dirksen. When Senator Hugh Scott became Republican leader, he named Dom to be assistant to the Republican leader for the floor operations, a position he continued during my tenure as leader until his retirement yesterday."

"Oliver J. Dompierre has served the United States in an important capacity during the administrations on nine Presidents. Dom's tenure in the Senate predates that of every Member presently in this body, or in the House of Representatives for that matter. Few Americans have labored so long for the United States Senate, have been such a part of Senate history, nor served the U. S. Senate and the United States of American better."

"We shall all miss Dom. And as we salute and applaud him for his exceptional past service. I know my colleagues will join in wishing Dom, his lovely wife Randy, and the Dompierre family all the best for the future.”