CHARLESTON - A bill in the state Legislature wants to name a bridge in the Mineral Wells area after a local lawmaker who passed away in 2011.
House Concurrent Resolution No. 49 is requesting the Division of Highways to rename the new South Mineral Wells Bridge over Tygart Creek on Wood County 54, West Virginia 14, near Mineral Wells, the "Delegate Larry Border Memorial Bridge."
Larry Border, 60, the Republican lawmaker for the state's 9th District, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke and passed away on June 8, 2011. His widow, Anna Border, was appointed to serve the remainder of his term and won re-election in November.
The bill was initially sponsored by Delegate Anna Border, R-Wood. Wood County Delegates Bill Anderson, R-8th; John Ellem, R-10th; Tom Azinger, R-10th, and Dan Poling, D-10th, co-sponsored the bill as well as 76 other delegates from around the state.
Anna Border said she regularly drives over the bridge. After the work her late husband had done on roads in the area and realizing the importance of getting that bridge eventually built, it should be named in his honor, she said.
''The bill has passed out of the House and it now goes to the Senate to be voted on,'' she said.
The resolution states Larry Border was born in Parkersburg, was educated in the Wood County Schools and graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1970. He earned his doctorate from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy in 1975 and worked as a retail pharmacist for more than 35 years. He and Anna were married for 38 years and operated a working farm in Davisville for years.
Larry Border had served locally on the Wood County Planning Commission for 18 years and was involved in civic organizations.
He was elected to the House of Delegates in 1990 and served for 21 years in the Legislature until his passing, serving as minority whip, minority chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee and a member of the House Finance, Rules and Agriculture committees.
Larry Border was nicknamed "den mother" for his support and guidance of legislators, his efforts to mentor young people and nurture their interest in public service, the resolution said. Border was an "experienced statesman, known for his intelligence, inquisitiveness and wit."
The resolution said Larry Border was instrumental in placing the road with the bridge between Mineral Wells and Elizabeth.
''It is fitting and proper that Delegate Larry Border be remembered and acknowledged for his spirit, statesmanship and his long-time and generous service to his family, to his community, to the West Virginia Legislature and to the State of West Virginia,'' the legislation said.
Anna Border was not surprised by the support she received from lawmakers, Democrat and Republican.
''He was well thought of by people on both sides,'' Anna Border said.
Larry always told her that it was important not to burn bridges with people in Charleston because they would have to come together and work on a variety of different issues, Anna said.
''I think that is evident in the number of delegates who signed on to co-sponsor this bill,'' she said.