State lawmakers announced Wednesday night that West Virginia Del. Larry Border (R-Wood) has passed away after suffering a stroke. He was 60.
The Associated Press has provided a brief biography:
"West Virginia Delegate Larry Border, who served in the Legislature for 20 years and was known for always helping others, has died.
"Border, a Republican, died Wednesday after suffering a stroke, his daughter Heather Mullens told The Associated Press. Border was the minority chair of the Health and Human Resources Committee and served on the agriculture, finance and rules committees.
"The pharmacist was first elected in 1990 and represented the 9th District, which covers Wirt County and portions of Wood County. His daughter says he sometimes bought prescription drugs for people who couldn't afford them and was always willing to listen to both sides of an argument before making a judgment.
"Border was born in Parkersburg. He attended the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy."
House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) released a statement Wednesday evening recalling some fond memories of his friend:
"The death of our good friend and colleague, Larry Border, is a devastating loss. Larry was not only a dedicated and honorable legislator who cared deeply about those he represented, but he was also a close personal friend and mentor and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. As the Republican Minority Whip, he earned the nickname "Den Mother" from our Republican members because he was always willing to offer his help and guidance to all our legislators, especially those who were newly-elected. I will deeply miss his wise advice, humor, integrity and personal friendship. I know I join all members of the Legislature in expressing heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Anna, his children, his parents and all his family."
Democratic leaders also shared some personal memories of Border:
The members of the West Virginia House of Delegates are mourning the passing of Wood County Delegate Larry Border.
“Delegate Border has served the people of the 9th District and the entire state of West Virginia with great dedication and integrity for the past 20 years,” House Speaker Rick Thompson said. “We have lost an experienced statesman known for his intelligence, inquisitiveness and wit. I and all members of the House extend our deepest condolences to his family. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs said he was shocked upon learning of Delegate Border’s untimely passing.
“I knew Larry before I ever joined the Legislature and long considered him a good friend. Having served in the House with him for 15 years, I have developed the greatest respect and admiration for him as legislator,” the Majority Leader said. “This is a real blow, and my heart goes out to Anna and the rest of the family.”
For most of the past decade, Delegate Border had taken on the role of mentor to GOP freshmen in the House, and was dubbed the nickname “den mother.”
“I know he wanted the new members to feel comfortable and to value this experience,” Boggs observed.
Delegate Border’s counterpart among House Democrats, House Majority Whip Mike Caputo, noted that in the past several years Delegate Border also made a point of taking a college intern under his wing during session, providing a first-hand look at the work of the Legislature.
“He already had a lot on his plate, but Larry took the time to make those interns feel at home and nurture their interest in public service,” Caputo said. “That says so much about his character.”
Delegate Border, a pharmacist, also was Minority Chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, working alongside fellow pharmacist and Health Chairman Don Perdue for several years.
“I am absolutely devastated at the loss of my good friend and colleague,” Chairman Perdue said. “Our shared interests and collegiality easily overcame any partisan differences, and I am proud to say we had a wonderful working relationship, as well as a deep bond.”