Politics & Government

Ex-Rep. Fromhold dies; long battle with leukemia

Former state Rep. Bill Fromhold died early today from leukemia, and sorrowful word of his passing has been making the rounds.

Fromhold, a Vancouver Democrat and budget writer, had a strong background in higher education and served as vice chair of the former House Appropriations Committee after winning election to the House in 2000 and serving until 2008.

"I lost a great friend today," Democratic Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia said in an e-mail.

Howard Buck, a Columbian reporter who covered the Capitol for that paper during much of Fromhold’s time in Olympia, had this piece today that talked about the health struggles that Fromhold and his wife, Marcia, had this year.

In his story, Buck said "Fromhold had battled several complications as he awaited difficult blood and platelet transfusions, and had been hospitalized frequently since April." He said Fromhold died in Seattle at the University of Washington Medical Center.

And Marcia Fromhold, a lobbyist with a background in education, said this in an email to the House chief clerk's office this morning:

Last evening Bill lost his valiant battle. Just after midnight, with all of us around him, he peacefully passed on from this life[.] His body could no longer battle this awful cancer and he never really came back to us after the surgery. We know his spirit is still strong and watching over us each moment. He was not in pain and did not suffer. As we sat together we had a chance to share with him the touching and funny moments that meant so much to us and to him.

Former longtime Associated Press reporter David Ammons circulated a message that said Fromhold was "a strong leader for education, higher education, infrastructure and construction and more. We will miss his wise counsel and his tireless work for his district and the state as a whole, particularly the school kids."

Some kind of service is planned in the Capitol Rotunda.