The St. Mary’s University flags will be flown at half-staff Thursday and Friday, Nov. 30-Dec.1, in remembrance of long-time former state senator Frank Madla. Madla, his mother-in-law and his granddaughter died in a house fire last week.

For 33 years, Madla forged a notable political career representing south San Antonio in the state Legislature. He was widely known for his efforts to improve, advance and revitalize education and economic development in his home district.

Madla received his undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in 1959, followed by a master’s degree in 1964. He was a teacher in the South San Antonio Independent School District, and served in the 1970s as a member of the district’s board of trustees.

In more than three decades in the Legislature, Madla championed the laws that made both SeaWorld and the AT&T Center realities. He was vital to the redevelopment of Kelly Air Force Base by pushing through necessary funding. He helped with the incentives used to attract the new Toyota facility, and has been the driving force for years behind the efforts to bring a Texas A&M University campus to the south side of San Antonio. Madla also was a supporter of the Texas Equalization Grant Program, a need-based state financial aid program benefiting the students of private colleges and universities.

A Nov. 25 Express-News editorial said, “Although Democratic primary voters ousted him, the loss didn’t detract from the appreciation for his years of service. San Antonio will miss Frank Madla.”

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