Posted By: Camila Orti
Friends and family are remembering former senator Jennie Robak as a caring, passionate woman who served Nebraska for 14 years. She died in a car vs. pedestrian accident Friday afternoon, leaving friends and family in disbelief.
Police say an elderly woman was backing out of a parking spot at the 70th and Pioneers Hy–Vee and lost control. She ran over the 81–year–old Robak, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was not injured, and police say nobody has been ticketed.
"I thought the whole thing, of course, gripped all of us because it was such an unusual kind of circumstance," friend and former colleague of Robak's, DiAnna Schimek said.
Schimek worked alongside Robak, who represented the Columbus area in the legislature from 1989 to 2003.
Schimek says she'll never forget the first time she met Robak in 1986.
"She took me around the Platte County State Fair and we met everyone in sight, I mean she really worked me that day," Schimek said with a laugh.
Schimek was running for state treasurer, and says her and Robak became fast friends.
"She was a lot of fun, just a very engaging personality," Schimek said. "If she laughed you just had to laugh too."
Schimek says Robak was particularly passionate about legislation dedicated to mental health programs.
Besides her political career, Schimek says the Columbus native was very active in her community as a volunteer and involved in multiple organizations.
"She would fly to different countries and be there to help in a time of disaster and I think she truly enjoyed that," Schimek said.