BATON ROUGE, La. — A charismatic leader, a wonderful dad, and a relentless visionary. These are just some of the ways people described former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards as hundreds met at the Capitol to say their final farewell.
His son, Stephen, says his father will be remembered in a special way.
“As someone who loved Louisiana, and the people that live here... because that was his passion, “ he said.
His father’s legacy is still very much present today as so many were drawn to his leadership.
“His memory lives on in the people that come here to pay homage,” he said. “I’ve seen people that I have not seen in fifty years.”
Mercy Butler, a social worker who wanted to pay respects says she grew up while Edwards was governor, and the reason she admired him was because it was the impact he left on her family.
When Edwards became governor, Butler's parents were living and they admired him because of his way of having respect for all people.
She says, she wants to make sure the next generation understands the impact of Louisiana's longest serving governor.
“Governor Edwards did tremendous things that were good, and people need to know that,” she added.
One of his great attributes, as recalled by state legislator Francis Thompson, was his ability to keep the state calm when things were difficult.
“In all those tough, hard times, he could still convince the public that he was on the right track, and he was,” said Thompson.
The public's confidence in Edwards was talked about today, but he too had the same outlook on those who worked alongside of him.
Thompson worked with Governor Edwards and said it was a great experience to be around him. Although Edwards was in power, it never felt like others didn’t have a voice.
“He was the boss around here for a long time, but you could work with him easily,” remembered Thompson.
For Stephen, his father’s way of life and work ethic are still remembered as hundreds come to pay respects.
“He knew no color, he knew no creed, no wealth limitations on anybody,” he said. “Wherever he went, he was special, but whoever went with him was special also. He shared that, and that’s testament for the people that come here today to say goodbye.”
Closer to home, he tells me, his father wasn’t only a great governor and leader, but he was a wonderful role model.
“As a dad, he was good. Very good. I can match him against anyone.”
Full Coverage of Edwards Funeral will begin on Sunday in Baton Rouge. KATC will offer a live stream of the funeral services for Edwards beginning at 1:00 pm.
Edwards will be buried at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in south Baton Rouge. The four-term governor died early Monday in his home, he was 93.
Residents in Crowley were given the opportunity to sign Edwards funeral register on Thursday and Friday at the Crowley court house. That register will be back in Crowley on Monday following Edwards funeral on Sunday.
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