Frank Deem: Irreplaceable public servant will be missed

For a total of 48 years, Frank Deem served Mid-Ohio Valley residents and his fellow West Virginians in Charleston, both as a state Senator and as a member of the House of Delegates.

As current House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, put it, “Frank was advocating Republican principles before many of us were even born.”

At the age of 90, Deem continued to serve as the voice of his constituents. And though that voice will no longer ring in the House chambers, Deem’s example will live on in the countless other public officials who learned from his commitment to the Mountain State.

“He was a good man, a mentor,” said John Kelly, also a Republican delegate from the 10th District.

Before choosing to serve as an elected official, Deem served his nation in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Mid-Ohio Valley residents join Deem’s legislative colleagues in mourning the loss of such a man.

“With immense sadness, the House of Delegates today grieves the death of not just one of our own, but a man who has been a fixture of West Virginia government and politics for more than a half-century,” Hanshaw said.

Hanshaw was right to call Deem “irreplaceable.”

Yet the lifetime of public service to which Deem dedicated himself must serve to inspire others to such devotion.

Deem will be missed — constituents and colleagues alike will feel the loss of his experience, his insight and his devotion to public service.

Goodbye, sir. And thank you.