- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2008


Joseph V. Gartlan Jr., who championed environmental and social causes while representing Fairfax County in the Virginia Senate for 28 years, died Friday following a brief illness. He was 82.

Mr. Gartlan fell ill Monday and died at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital early Friday morning from a blood infection, said his daughter, Joan Gartlan.

When Mr. Gartlan, a Democrat, announced his retirement from the Senate in 1999, he was regarded as the Senate’s most prominent liberal voice. Colleagues gave him a four-minute standing ovation.

On Friday, Gov. Tim Kaine, also a Democrat, called Mr. Gartlan “a true statesman” and ordered flags at the state Capitol to be flown at half staff in his honor.

“He wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to issues of social and economic justice,” Mr. Kaine said. “He was a tireless and effective advocate for the environment, the mentally and physically disabled, and for abused and neglected children.”

Mr. Gartlan served as chairman of the multistate Chesapeake Bay Commission in the 1980s and was credited with galvanizing regional efforts to clean up the Bay.

In his final year in the Senate, Mr. Gartlan led efforts to increase funding for Virginia’s troubled mental-health system.

He served from 1972 to 2000, then retired to his riverfront home in the Fairfax County community of Mason Neck.



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