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Former Governor Edwin Edwards laid to rest

A private ceremony was held at the Old State Capitol after a procession through Downtown Baton Rouge.
Edwin Edwards Procession
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 23:20:24-04

BATON ROUGE, La. — Many remember him as a great leader, advocating for those in need and leaving a lasting legacy in the state.

Family, friends, lawmakers, and members of the public gathered in front of the capitol to say farewell.

A state police honor guard carried the casket down the steps of the capitol, as the marching band from Southern University got ready to lead the funeral procession towards the Old State Capital, where a private ceremony was held.

Donald Hodge, who came to honor the former governor, says he grew up as Edwards was leading the state.

“My grandmother and grandfather, parents, always talked about him,” Hodge recalls. “They really liked the stuff he did for the state in terms of education and helping poor people. That's always what was impressed upon me.”

His legacy, he says, is still relevant today.

“He tried to do what was best for the state in terms of taxing oil and gas and trying to bring in more revenue to actually make investments in the things that our state needs, which I guess we still need it today,” he said.

Claudia Henagan Adley, wife of former State Senator Robert Adley, met the governor when she was 13 years old.

“My father was a small-town mayor in DeQuincy, Louisiana,” she said. “Edwin Edwards was the congressman when I was 13. Dad got elected. I can’t tell you how many streets were paved, hospitals built... how many great things he did for that little town and all of rural Louisiana and our state.”

She says she came out to thank him for all of that and for bringing Louisiana together. Like many others present, she says Edwin Edwards was more than just an elected official.

“He was a family friend, and my mom and dad were saving him a place in heaven,” she said.

Edwards will be buried at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in south Baton Rouge.

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