Former Governor Dave Treen Dead At 81
Former Louisiana Gov. Dave Treen has died at age 81.

Treen's son, David C. Treen Jr., said Treen died early Thursday of complications from a respiratory illness at East Jefferson General Hospital.

Governor Bobby Jindal announced Thursday afternoon that the funeral procession is expected to arrive at the State Capitol Monday morning and a memorial service will follow. After the memorial service, former Governor Treen will "lie in state" in the State Capitol Rotunda. Exact times and details for Monday's events are being finalized and will be announced soon.

Governor Treen was the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction when he was elected in 1979, but lost a re-election bid to the flamboyant Democrat Edwin Edwards four years later.

Edwards had served two terms as governor and was not allowed to run in 1979 because of term limitation laws. Treen's victory over Democrat Louis Lambert in that race was a watershed for the state's Republican Party in a state long dominated by Democrats.

Dave Treen spent time in the final years of his life working to secure a presidential pardon for Edwards who remains in prison.

Some quotes from public officials on the death of former Gov. Dave Treen:

Congressman Steve Scalise described Treen "as one of the most honorable and decent men in Louisiana politics."

Scalise said Treen was "kind of the father of ethics reform in Louisiana." He told 99.5FM Treen represented "a change in direction for our state."

"Louisiana has lost a visionary leader and a tireless advocate for our state, with the passing of Gov. Dave Treen. Gov. Treen was a true statesman with a servants heart, and his desire to improve our state was only surpassed by his kindness and humility." --Gov. Bobby Jindal

"He always had a good heart and he governed with a good heart. His ultimate kindness and the respect that he showed any individual preceded any of his governing quandries. He was a gentleman at every juncture and so you really couldn't hold anything against Gov. Treen. I know that there were some people who didn't agree with things he did, but it could never be personal with him." --Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco

"I admire this man and regret his passing, and I think I join a lot of Louisianians who are so glad that Dave lived in our state and gave so much to this state. He will be missed. I'm just glad to have known him personally." --Former Gov. Buddy Roemer

"Dave Treen was an enormously kind, decent human being. He was also a pioneer Republican - truly the father of the modern Louisiana Republican party as our first Republican governor since Reconstruction. All Republicans serving in Louisiana today stand on his shoulders and benefit from his vision and leadership." --U.S. Sen. David Vitter

"Whether serving in Congress or as governor, or working as a private citizen, Dave Treen always put Louisiana first. Dave was a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road compromiser who never forgot that there are greater principles worth fighting for beyond party and politics. Dave will be remembered fondly by all of us who knew him as a warm, wonderful person and a committed reformer." --U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon

"I am saddened to hear of the loss of a homegrown hero, Gov. David Treen. Governor Treen was a hardworking public servant and one of the pioneers of the reform movement in Louisiana. He continued to fight for good government until his death. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time." --U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao

"Governor Treen was a pragmatic and devoted leader for all Louisianians. I have long admired his years of public service and his example of working across party lines for the betterment of the state. His vision for a better education system planted the seeds for the extraordinary progress we continue to see in our schools today. I was blessed by his friendship and honored to have his support during my time serving in the Senate. Governor Treen will be missed by all of us whose lives he has touched through his tremendous dedication to our state." --U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu

"Dave Treen was a Louisiana gentleman and his party's brightest star. Dave understood that partisan politics should stop at the waters edge, a rare quality by today's standards, and one of the reasons he will be missed. I will keep the Treen family in my thoughts and prayers." --Louisiana Democratic Party Chairman Chris Whittington

"I was saddened to learn today of the death of former Louisiana Governor David Treen. It was our goal as public servants to better the lives of Louisianans. Governor Treen recently played a significant role in Project Return, a program that helps former offenders in breaking the cycle of drugs, criminal behavior, and violence. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with Governor Treen in this effort. My prayers go out to Governor Treen's wife, children and family in this time of loss." --State Sen. Ed Murray

"Governor Treen was gracious, honest, and principled, a gentleman. He was a force for honest and ethical government at a time when that was hard to find in Louisiana. He left Louisiana better than he found it." --U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy