Pols from both parties pay tribute to Larkin

Warm tributes to former state Sen. Bill Larkin poured in from Republicans and Democrats alike upon learning of his death at home in Cornwall-on-Hudson over the weekend, each praising the 91-year-old Republican for his dedication to his constituents and fellow veterans during his 40 years as a state lawmaker.

U.S. Sen. Schumer, a Democrat whose political career also dates back to the 1970s and briefly overlapped with Larkin’s when both were assemblymen in 1979 and 1980, tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Larkin’s death, calling him “an honorable man, legislator and veteran.”

“He was an advocate for all veterans, champion for the Hudson Valley, and will be deeply missed,” Schumer said on Twitter.

Below are other statements, in addition to those published in the Times Herald-Record on Monday, from elected officials and others about an accessible and well-liked politician who represented part of the Hudson Valley in Albany for four decades and had become an institution by the time he retired last year.

“Today, we lost a great American hero and friend, State Senator William J. Larkin. My condolences go out to his wife Pat and his entire family. I’ve had the honor of knowing Senator Larkin for over 25 years. He was a good friend and mentor. I worked with Senator Larkin on many projects and he was always there to give me helpful advice and assisted me to be an effective legislator. His positive impact on our community will be felt for many years and never forgotten. Thank you Senator for you friendship and your service to our state and country! – Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, R-Deerpark

“He was a masterful politician, someone who treated everybody with respect no matter what their party. My thoughts are with his family.” – Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, D-City of Newburgh

“Nikki and I mourn the loss of Senator William J. Larkin, Jr. Senator Larkin served with integrity and distinction for decades of his life in the US Army and in state and local elective office. Senator Larkin was a direct participant in many prominent moments of modern American and New York history. His legacy of selfless service set the standard for others to follow and be measured by. Our thoughts are with Pat and the entire Larkin family. I know our entire region will mourn Senator Larkin in the coming days and always rejoice in his legacy.” – Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, R-New Windsor

“I considered myself very privileged to serve along and next to Bill Larkin for 22 years in New York state government. His passing will be a great loss to our country and to everyone he served.” – Former Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, R-Blooming Grove

“Senator Bill Larkin was a character larger than life.  His tenure in office will be noted as one dedicated to constituent service and providing for the communities he served above all else.  He set the bar high and then insisted that each of us exceed it. My deepest sympathies to his wife Pat, his entire family and in particular, to his son Bill, who the Colonel often reminded me was my much more successful classmate from Albany Law. A contemporary of my Mom, Maryalice Cahill, Bill Larkin truly was part of the greatest generation.  May he rest in peace.” – Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston

“Word of Bill Larkin’s passing comes with great sadness. He was the quintessential public servant. If it was important to his constituents, there was no issue too big or too small for which Bill would not fight in order to improve life for all of us. Among the countless issues on Bill’s agenda in Albany, education was right there at the top. He was a tremendous friend to SUNY Orange, and his imprint on our College will be felt for generations. He helped shape our vision of how SUNY Orange can more effectively serve students in Newburgh and throughout Orange County. Additionally, his backing of our BRIDGES program allowed us to create needed educational opportunities for students who might not otherwise have had access to college. All of us at SUNY Orange are grateful for Bill’s friendship and support.” – SUNY Orange President Kristine Young

“The Satmar Community of Kiryas Joel/ Town of Palm Tree sends its sincere condolences to the family of State Senator Bill Larkin who passed away today. Senator Larkin represented us and was a trusted friend to our community! He will be missed.” – Village of Kiryas Joel (via “Satmar Headquarters” on Twitter)

“There has been no finer statesman for the Hudson Valley over the past 4 decades than Senator Bill Larkin. Our area has been blessed to have been represented by such a humble, kind and caring person. He embodied all that is good about humanity: his heroism, his tireless passion for those who lived in New York, the devotion to his country and his advocacy for veterans across our nation – which forever will live on in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor. The Town of Monroe is extremely grateful for all of Senator Larkin’s support over the years. Our prayers go out to his wife Patricia and his family.” – Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone

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