Former Sen. Fred “Ted” Lovegrove, Jr. was remembered Thursday in the state Senate chamber where he had served for 16 years.
Lovegrove’s death last week at the age of 73 marks the end of an era among Senate Republicans, where he served alongside two other longtime veterans, Sen. George “Doc” Gunther of Stratford and Sen. M. Adela Eads of Kent. Gunther died last year at the age of 92, while Eads died in 2003 at 83.
Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Fairfield said that he clearly remembered meeting with Lovegrove about 17 years ago after Lovegrove decided to retire after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lovegrove battled back from cancer, but he suffered in recent years from Parkinson’s disease.
“He looked at me and said, ‘I think you should run,’ ” McKinney said Thursday on the Senate floor. “He was the first person who encouraged me to run for the state Senate.”
“He was a strong fiscal conservative,” McKinney said, adding that Lovegrove was ”just a genuinely kind-hearted man.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a Democrat who previously served in the state House of Representatives and as state comptroller, had occasions to deal with Lovegrove as a colleague.
“His word was his bond,” Wyman said.