Thomas Remengesau Sr., the fourth president of the Republic of Palau, died Aug. 3 at the age of 89.
He died at his home in Koror surrounded by his children and other relatives, according to a news release. The former president’s oldest son is President Tommy Remengesau Jr.
Remengesau Sr. was the first Palauan to serve as district administrator in the 1970s, which was the highest post in Palau. The island was a trust territory administered by the U.S. government at the time.
In the years that ensued, as Palauans vigorously debated their political future, Remengesau Sr. continued to serve as a voice for the people.
The island was undergoing a tumultuous season as it was seeking to transition from a trust territory to a republic.
Remengesau Sr. was elected vice president in 1985 and served until 1988. During this tenure, he had to step up to the presidency twice, first in 1985 after the assassination of President Haruo Remeliik, and again 1988, after the death of President Lazarus Salii.
Remengesau Sr. was a bearer of high Chief Maderngebuked of Ngaraard State, which is the highest traditional seat for the state.
President Remengesau Jr. expressed his gratitude for the love and support expressed for his father and family. Details of the former president’s funeral services have not been announced.
Guam lawmakers express condolences
Sen. James Moylan expressed his condolences to President Tommy Remengesau Jr. and his family.
"President Remengesau Sr. was one of the staunch pioneers in advancing the Republic of Palau (ROP) as a young government into a proud nation within this region that it is today," Moylan said. "As a longtime friend of Guam, he held many positions of public service including the nations highest office on two occasions. His legacy continues, including within the leadership of his son, President Tommy Remegesau Jr. His accomplishments will always be remembered and may he Rest In Peace."
Sen. Telo Taitano also noted her sympathies to the family and the Palauan community.
“I join the people of Guam in extending our heartfelt condolences to the Remengesau family on the passing of former President Thomas O. Remengesau, Sr. His family and the community of Palau are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.“