Quayle named First Citizen

Published 10:28 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

State Sen. Frederick M. Quayle has been named First Citizen 2011 by the Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary clubs.

State Sen. Frederick M. Quayle has been named the 2011 First Citizen by the Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary clubs.

Quayle joins a prestigious list of Suffolk residents, including his General Assembly colleague, Del. S. Chris Jones, that have been named First Citizen. Others have included last year’s honoree, Dr. Doug Naismith; and former recipients such as Betsy Brothers, W. Ross Boone, Whitney Saunders, Councilman Curtis Milteer, George Birdsong, Sam Glasscock, former Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. and others.

“It feels great,” Quayle said. “I was astounded that I had been selected. It was not something that even entered my mind.”

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The First Citizen award has been given every year since 1956, except for a hiatus from 1999 to 2003. The Cosmopolitan Club initially started giving the award in 1956, but stopped in ’99 when the club disbanded. In 2003, the Suffolk Rotary Club picked up the tradition and continued it. The North Suffolk Rotary Club joined in the selection and presentation for the first time last year.

Quayle, 75, has been a member of the General Assembly since 1992. A Suffolk native, he attended the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond, then began practicing law.

Quayle practiced at firms in Norfolk and Portsmouth before moving back to Suffolk to the house his parents built in Riverview in 1948.

He’s always been interested in politics, but the opportunity to run for office did not present itself until 1991, when the decennial redistricting put him in a position where he thought he could win.

“I decided if I was ever going to do it, I needed to do it then,” he said.

Quayle lived in Chesapeake then. His only regret is that his parents never got to vote for him — they both died in 2000, one year before their house was drawn into Quayle’s district. That gave Quayle the opportunity to move back into his parents’ house with his wife, Brenda.

Quayle is a member of the Suffolk Rotary Club, the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society and the Suffolk Art League. He is on the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts Foundation’s board of honorary directors.

Though he has not practiced law actively for about 10 years, he has taught business law and political science as an adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University.

As part of his service in the General Assembly, Quayle also serves on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Modeling and Simulation and the Route 460 Communications Committee, among other groups.

His current district, the 13th, includes parts of Suffolk, Chesapeake, Franklin, Portsmouth and Hopewell and the counties of Isle of Wight, Prince George and Southampton, as well as all of Surry County.

Quayle has four grown children, ages 28 to 46.

A presentation and reception in Quayle’s honor will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Tickets can be purchased from any member of either Rotary Club. The money is used to fund the clubs’ charitable causes.