Senate Republican leader remembers tribal leader Billy Frank Jr.

Sen. Mark SchoeslerSen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Senate Republican leader, offered this remembrance of tribal leader Billy Frank Jr., who passed away today at 83.

“For my first 17 years representing the 9th District I stayed with my uncle, Ed Heinemann, during legislative sessions. Uncle Ed’s place was along the Nisqually Reach of Puget Sound, a couple of doors down from Billy’s house; between conversations on the beach or on the porch and my work at the Capitol, Billy and I came to know each other.

“Billy was the kind of leader that any community would be fortunate to have. While we didn’t always agree on the specifics I had great respect for his passionate support of salmon recovery and his leadership in general on natural resources. Billy’s knowledge of the issues was unsurpassed and his intentions were always honorable.

“He was a fine gentleman and a respected leader. I’m glad to have known him and sorry that he has passed.”