Former state Senator Frank Padavan, who represented northeast Queens for nearly four decades in Albany, has died. He was 83 years old.
Sources close to Padavan speculate that he may have died of a heart attack at New York Presbyterian Hospital, though his official cause of death has not been confirmed.
Padavan served as the senator for State Senate District 11 from 1973 to 2010, the second-longest serving state senator in New York history. He was unseated in 2010 in a close race won by Tony Avella. The current senator released a statement this afternoon mourning the death of his predecessor.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former state Senator Frank Padavan. He will be well remembered as someone who fought diligently for northeast Queens and served our community well,” Avella said.
Before becoming senator, Padavan earned his degree in electrical engineering and spent 30 years as a reserve member of the United States Army. He then served as Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings for four years.
The Queens GOP were the first to confirm Padavan’s passing on Twitter:
“Rest peacefully @FrankPadavan you were a champion of the Republican Party and the NYS Senate you will be sorely missed. Our condolences are extended to the Padavan family.”
Councilman Eric Ulrich also took to Twitter in the wake of Padavan’s death: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former NYS Senator Frank Padavan. Sen. Padavan was a staunch advocate for his NE Queens district and a fighter for the forgotten middle class. Overall, he was an absolute gentleman and raised the bar for public service. RIP Frank.”
Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman spoke highly of Padavan’s work for the borough of Queens and of his solid work ethic as a senator.
“He did an enormous, wonderful service for the borough of Queens and the state of New York. He was a hard worker who did very well for his constituency,” said former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.
One of Padavan’s long-time colleagues, former state Senator Serphin Maltese, called Padavan “a towering figure in the state Senate” and stressed that he was true to his conservative roots while still retaining independence from traditional partisan politics.
“”For 38 years he was an independent voice in the Senate with a great amount of credibility,” Maltese said. “That’s why he kept getting re-elected in a district where Democrats outnumbered Republicans 3 to 1.”
Padavan was the loving father of Scott and Allison; father-in-law of Pratisha Budhiraja; and grandfather of Sofi Kush Padavan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Johanne.
Visitation for Padavan’s family and friends will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m., at Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home’s Whitestone location, 10-25 150 St. There will be a second wake there on Sunday, Oct. 14, from 2 to 5 p.m., with a religious service taking place at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the Padavan family requests that memorial donations be made to any of the local organizations that the late state senator supported during his life. They include the Alley Pond Environmental Center, alleypond.com; the Bayside Historical Society, baysidehistorical.org; the Bowne House, bownehouse.org; and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, nyp.org/giving.
Bill Parry and Robert Pozarycki contributed to this report.
This story was updated on Oct. 10 at 12:05 p.m.