The loss on Saturday of former Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney brought back memories of this column that I wrote about him when he retired in 2013, a tribute from my former Delegate Chris Saxman who shared his respect for the man:
Delegate Lacey Putney has served in the Virginia House of Delegates longer than former Delegate Chris Saxman has been alive. Yet the respect for the elder statesman is there in Chris’ column as all take in the unexpected yet not surprising news of Putney’s retirement from the House.
In “Lacey Putney — Virginia Gentleman,” the young gentleman shared some good memories about his time serving for almost a decade with the older gentleman from Bedford. Chris wrote:
Lacey is a model of the unbranded, gentlemanly conservatism that makes Virginia so exceptional. The essence of that conservatism, true conservatism, is grounded in two key elements – pragmatism and self-restraint. What works, works. What doesn’t, shouldn’t.
Lacey Putney was and is a model of Virginia gentlemanly conservatism because Lacey was and is, first and foremost, a gentleman.
As with anyone who has served for 52 years, time catches up and the reluctant decision is made to retire and spend those golden years with family and friends. Putney’s morals from an earlier generation were evident after his wife passed away and he remarried about seven years later, as recounted by Chris:
“I feel like a teenager!” Lacey exclaimed with a gleam in his eye and a smile as broad as the James River. Then he softly explained, “Of course, when Carmela came to visit me in Bedfuhd, she had to stay across the street. We didn’t want people getting the wrong idea.”
Chris added, “Of course not.”
Read Chris’ entire respectful tribute to a man who spent most of his life in the public service of Virginia’s citizens.