A former P.E.I. MLA and well known optometrist in Charlottetown has died.

Dr. David McKenna was a partner in the Family Vision Centre in Charlottetown. He served as the Progressive Conservative MLA for the district of Glen Stewart-Bellevue Cove from 2003 to 2007.

He was 57.

The news of his death came as a shock to former provincial treasurer Pat Mella, who considered McKenna a colleague and a friend.

"He was a great family man. The McKennas have a big family and he was a great family person,"

"From my perspective of course he was one of the key people who supported me all through my political involvement. So I am very saddened to hear of it. The island has lost not only a good political person but he was a great business man as well. I am sure the business community are probably saddened by it as well."

Progressive Conservative interim leader Steven Myers issued a news release expressing the party's condolences Thursday.

“David was a well-respected community leader, savvy businessman and dedicated PC Party member,” said Myers.

“His contributions to our party and our province were immense.”

McKenna was involved in a number of professional, political and community organizations, including serving as the chair of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation board of directors when he died.