CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — A member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who was running for re-election on Nov. 6 has died.
Del. Frank Deem, R-Wood, died early Wednesday morning at age 90, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, confirmed in a statement.
Born in Harrisville, Deem was a businessman and oil and gas producer, according to his biography on the Legislature's website. He served 48 years in the Legislature, most recently serving District 10 in the House of Delegates.
Deem was married to Rebecca Lewellyn and has eight children, Deborah Ann, Pamela, Michael Stephen, Patti Carol, Kathy, John Fulton, Zachary Wilson and Cate Shuman.
“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 in the statement. “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.”
Deem was re-elected to the House chamber in 2014 and is a former state senator. He was elected in the Senate in 1964 and served terms off and on. His last term in the Senate ended in 2010.
Deem served the House of Delegates from 1954 to 1962, then from 1988 to 1990.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.