BATON ROUGE — Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol Thursday to pay their respects to Governor Kathleen Blanco.
Among them were people who knew her personally and some who only read about her.
Joyce Porter's first memories of the female governor are from when she attended the then-University of Southwestern Louisiana. At the time, Blanco was known as the dean's wife.
"She loved the state, and she did everything she could for the state. I just thought we should come out and pay our respects," said Porter.
LSU Professor James Carville says Governor Blanco fought for what she believed in, even if that meant standing up to the national administration.
"This wasn't just a great woman; this was a great governor. And, a governor that lead with great determination and great dignity."
Longtime friend and photographer Philip Gould has admired Blanco since her first met her, saying she has a lot of class.
"She did things the right way. She was very considerate of people, and she governed with distinction and integrity," said Gould.
Carville cautions not to mistake her kindness for weakness. Blanco knew how to get the job done, he says.
"People don't really realize she was a tough cookie," explained Carville. "Don't kid yourself."
The university professor says he will take her life and time in office to the classroom and turn that into inspiration.
"Her biggest legacy is she gives educators something to teach young people in this environemt."
Visitation will continue Saturday at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette.