CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today issued the following statement on the passing of Delegate Frank Deem, R-Wood, who died earlier this morning at Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg at age 90.
“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,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “Frank Deem devoted a lifetime of service to the citizens of his district and the people of our state, and leaves behind a legacy of fierce advocacy for conservative principles that have made West Virginia a better place.
A navy veteran, former Senator and current Delegate, his character, experience and statesmanship will be irreplaceable in the Legislature.
“First elected to the House in 1954, Frank was advocating Republican principles before many of us were even born,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “For those who had the privilege of working with him in the Legislature, I can say you always knew where you stood with Frank. 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.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife Becky, his children, grandchildren and the legacy of life he leaves behind.”
Born March 20, 1928 in Harrisville, Delegate Deem was first elected to the House in 1954. He served a total of 48 years in the Legislature. He was elected to the state Senate in 1964, and served various terms off and on – including going back to serve an additional term in the House in the late 1980s – until his last term in the Senate ended in 2010. He was re-elected to the House of Delegates in 2014, where he has served since.