10/26/2009 5:02 PM
Former Sen. and Ambassador Teel Bivins (R-Amarillo) died today of pneumonia. He was 62.
Teel Bivins was one of those elected officials who reflected positively on the region and district that elected him. He was honest, straightforward, hard-working, and never forgot the folks back home. It was Bivins’ practice to have regular luncheons with the House members whose districts contained counties in Senate District 31.
He was universally respected at the Capitol. But equally important, he was well liked. One Bivins staffer once told me that the Senator came in from a busy day of considering legislation and took his staff to the movies.
When I first started at the Capitol, one role this publication held (and still holds) the role of being a watchdog over the education bureaucracy. As chairman of the Senate Education Committee, part of Bivins’s responsibility was getting the education agenda of Gov. George W. Bush through the Texas Senate and promoting the education accomplishments of Gov. Bush.
Therefore, some of the stories I wrote about what I saw as the shortcomings of either the school system under Bush or some of the legislation Bush signed probably didn’t meet with his approval. But Bivins never held it against me. He was always exceedingly polite and went out of his way to be accessible. His statesmanship was always appreciated by this reporter.
According to the Amarillo Globe-News, services for Bivins will be held Thursday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Amarillo.