BEDFORD, Va. – Lacey Putney, the longest serving member of Virginia's General Assembly, has died.
A statement from House Speaker William Howell said Putney passed away Saturday at the age of 89.
Putney served in the House for 52 years. He represented the 19th House District, which includes Alleghany, Bedford, Botetourt, Franklin and Rockbridge counties and the cities of Bedford, Buena Vista, Covington and Lexington.
Howell's statement said in part: “The House has lost a mighty oak tree, but we will benefit from the roots that Lacey established deeply within our co-equal branch of government. The Commonwealth will bear the fruit of his productive years of legislative service for many years to come. We are all grateful for the tremendous accomplishments he has left throughout the Old Dominion, from championing the creation of the Virginia Retirement System for state and local employees and initiating the Tuition Assistance Grant program for the benefit of students to safeguarding Virginia’s finances and establishing the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. Lacey was a dear friend to me and many others. I will always remember his good-natured humor and unique ability to recall a story for any moment. During this sad time, Cessie and I pray for his very special wife Carmella, who Lacey deeply cherished, and Lacey’s children, Susan and Lacey Edward, Jr."
Click here to read Howell's full statement.
Putney will lie in state in the rotunda of the Capitol where flags will fly at half-mast in his memory. He will be the first House member to lie in state since Speaker A.L. Philpott in 1991.