Lucio Masthead Graphic
November 24, 2006
Contact: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
(512) 463-0385
(Sen. Madla and his mother-in-law died in a house fire last night)

Austin, TX -- "The loss of my best friend, former Senator Frank Madla, is one of the lowest points of my life. I am overcome with sorrow over this terrible and sudden tragedy. I am requesting prayers for Helen, his wife, who also lost her mother, for grieving family members like his son, Frank Madla, Jr., and daughter, Marcy, and particularly for his granddaughter, Alena, who is in critical condition. She was the love of his life.

I was blessed to have known Frank for so many years. We had a very special, close friendship that unfortunately only a few legislators ever have. We were friends not only inside the Capitol, but outside as well. Our ties go back to our days in the House (Sen. Lucio, 1986-90). He was a mentor and someone I could always rely on. He was like a "big brother."

I fondly recall how Frank would always tell me: "Do what you feel in your heart is right, and you'll be okay." That advice carried me through many tough decisions.

Ultimately, his greatest joy and love were his family, and Frank made me part of that family. Just a couple of days ago, Frank and I were discussing plans for our families to get together during the holidays in my Senatorial District. They were to be guests in our home, and I was looking forward to this with great anticipation. I know the holiday cheer would have been mixed with talk of public policy. Although Frank had been unsuccessful in his last bid for his Senate seat, he never lost focus of how important good public policy was for the people of this state. He never lost the compassion he had for people. Public service was second nature to him.

Although I don't have the details yet of what happened last night, I can't help but think that in those last moments, he probably preformed heroic acts to ensure that his family got out safely. I would venture to say that Frank died as selflessly as he lived, placing the welfare of others, particularly his family, before his own.

To know Frank, was to know goodness. Although he was always a good provider for his family, he never talked of riches or successes. His priorities were to help others and to help others achieve their goals.

I will miss him dearly. There will forever be an ache in my heart over this tremendous loss in my life. I can only imagine how painful this is for his wife and family. I express my deepest condolences to them.

Frank Madla was a man of courage, of dignity and of compassion. He was well respected and loved by so many, including those who may not have agreed with him on issues. He was articulate and intelligent.

Texas must bid farewell to one of its most devoted public servants of all time. As one of those Texans, I will miss him dearly, especially our daily attendance at Mass during the regular and special legislative sessions, and when we traveled out of town together. Frank was a man of God. Through the years, we offered many a rosary together. I now ask God to bless and help the Madla family."