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Quayle leaves legacy of service

When former state Sen. Frederick MacDonald Quayle died on Saturday after a short illness, Suffolk lost a citizen who had been working to better the city for decades.

Quayle started strong in high school, having been elected president of the student government at Suffolk High School. He went on to the University of Virginia, where he distinguished himself as the editor of the student newspaper, a fraternity brother, a lacrosse player and a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society.

He went on to the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, where he was a staff member of the University of Richmond Law Review and a member of the McNeill Law Society.

His service to Suffolk, the region and the state came through a variety of facets. He was a lawyer who served in a number of professional capacities, president of the Suffolk Jaycees community service group, a lecturer and assistant professor in law and politics, and an environmentalist who participated in a number of different pursuits intended to better the environment.

He was perhaps best known for his service for 20 years in the state Senate. He was selected National Legislator of the Year by the National Child Support Enforcement Association for legislation he sponsored to improve determination and collection of child support in Virginia. He was named Legislator of the Year by many other groups involved in public safety, conservation and fiscal responsibility.

Through it all, he was most devoted to his wife, Brenda, and their four children and, later, multiple grandchildren.

Quayle was the best kind of politician, one that almost seems quaint these days. He’s been described as a centrist who truly sought to close the political divide and work for the voters. Most elected officials these days only pay lip service to these values, but Quayle demonstrated it with his actions as well.

We mourn the passing of Sen. Quayle with his family and many others throughout the state.