From the Morning Memo:

Former state Legislator Bill Larkin spent four decades splitting time between his district and the Capitol in Albany.

For most of that last decade, his neighbor in the Senate chambers was Republican Pat Gallivan. The lawmaker said he considered Larkin a mentor and a friend – someone he began learning from as soon as he was sworn in.

“I was very saddened to learn of Senator Larkin’s passing,” Gallivan said. “I was very lucky to be assigned a seat right next to him in the Senate chamber and I sat next to him for eight years before he retired, learned a tremendous amount and he really had an incredible life.”

Larkin passed away this weekend at the age of 91. Gallivan said he was “cut from the cloth” and really had three separate careers – first as a veteran of two wars, then as supervisor for the Town of New Windsor and finally his long tenure with the Legislature.

He said for Larkin, it was all about service.

“He didn’t hesitate with all his experience to ask for advice if he had a problem with a constituent that he wasn’t quite sure how to handle,” Gallivan said.

Larkin was a champion for veterans causes, a member of the Genesis Club which founded the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor and the founder of the campaign to create the Purple Heart Forever Stamp.

Gallivan said it was a symbol that meant a lot to him and he didn’t let his neighbor forget it.

“Every day he shared with me a Purple Heart pin so I’ve got a collection of about 500 Purple Heart pins,” he said.

Larkin retired last year but Gallivan believed he would have continued to serve if his health had allowed it.