MADLA JR., FRANK LLOYD (1937 ~ 2006). The following is an Associated Press article published on December 1, 2006 upon the funeral of former Texas Legislator Frank Lloyd Madla Jr. The article was written by Kelley Shannon and was published in the Houston Chronicle.
"AUSTIN - Legislators, state officials and friends of former state Sen. Frank Madla remembered him today as a man of faith, strength and compassion as they said final goodbyes at the Texas State Cemetery.
Fellow lawmakers said they learned from Madla and his more than 30 years of combined service in the Texas House and Senate. Noting that he once was a school teacher, they said he remained a teacher who coached his younger colleagues at the Capitol.
Madla, representing the huge Senate district he loved that stretched from San Antonio to El Paso, worked hard to improve the economy and create jobs, said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a fellow San Antonio Democrat.
'We will forever hear the great roar of a quiet man,' she said.
Madla, 69, died last week when his house in San Antonio caught fire. His mother-in-law, Mary Cruz, and his 5-year-old granddaughter, Aleena Jimenez, also died of injuries suffered in the blaze. Madla's wife, Helen, survived.
'We are heartbroken at your unbearable loss. Frank was so very proud of his family,' Van de Putte told the many relatives at the graveside service. 'I know he would not want us to dwell on the despair we feel because of his tragic death.'
A rosary and Mass were held for Madla on Thursday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Helotes, the town where he was born.
Madla stepped down from his Senate seat in May after he was defeated in the March Democratic primary by state Rep. Carlos Uresti.
Numerous Texas senators arrived together at the burial service. Scores of government workers, lobbyists and friends also attended. Gov. Rick Perry, who was away at the inauguration of Mexico President Felipe Calderon, sent a letter of condolence that was read aloud at the service.
Colleagues recalled Madla's love of photography and how he liked to take pictures in the remote parts of his sprawling district.
And, they said, he was devoted to his young granddaughter, Aleena.
Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Brownsville Democrat and close friend of Madla, said he spoke with Madla just before Thanksgiving as he was planning to take Aleena to visit the Rio Grande Valley so she could pick grapefruit.
'I called her 'Hurricane.' She was everywhere,' Lucio said.
Lucio said Madla was a man of faith who wrote in a personal journal asking God to help him be strong and asking for hope and peace.
After the playing of 'Amazing Grace,' Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst presented a Texas flag to the Madla family. He called Madla a man of strength and compassion."
Madla was born in Helotes, Texas on January 23, 1937. Further information is available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.