UPDATE: Lawmakers react to death of former WV Senator

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WOOD COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) - UPDATE 10/10/18 11:42AM
Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) has released a statement reacting to the death of long-time lawmaker Frank Deem.

“I’m saddened to learn that our friend and former Senator Frank Deem has passed away. Frank was an institution in the West Virginia Legislature with his public service going back to the 1950s. Throughout his 48 years of service to the State of West Virginia, he spent 32 of them as a Senator, and was a frequent visitor with our members after he returned to the House of Delegates in 2014," Carmichael writes. "He was a statesman of the highest order, a proud Navy veteran, and a tireless advocate for making West Virginia a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Becky, and the entire Deem family, as they remember the life and legacy of a truly outstanding West Virginian.”

House Minority Whip Mike Caputo (D-Marion) also released a statement in response to Deem's passing, writing:

"West Virginia has lost a true public servant. Frank was a friend and colleague for many years. I will miss his candor, his sense of humor, and his love for our great state. My heart goes out to his wife, Becky, and to all those who had the privilege to know Frank."

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito tweeted: "Saddened by the news this morning of Del. Frank Deem’s passing. Dad, my son Moore, & I all had the honor of serving w/ Frank in the @wvlegislature & witnessed his dedication & love for our state firsthand. Charlie & I send our condolences to the Deems during this difficult time."

Frank Deem, a longtime West Virginia lawmaker, has died at the age of 90, officials announced Wednesday.

Born March 20, 1928, Deem was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1954. He served the West Virginia legislature for 48 years.

He died Wednesday at Camden Clark Medical Center in Parksersburg, according to a release from the State House. A complete obituary will be provided by his family soon, along with funeral details.

He leaves behind a wife and several children and grandchildren.

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, issued expressed his condolences in a statement Tuesday.

“For those who had the privilege of working with him in the Legislature, I can say you always knew where you stood with Frank," Hanshaw said. "He left no opinion unstated, and was not afraid to tell you when he thought you were wrong. He had no tolerance for the gamesmanship that often clouds modern politics, and his direct, colorful floor speeches served to cut through the nonsense of many debates and earned him respect on both sides of the aisle."