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Gov. Buddy MacKay's statement

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 14, 1998

My fellow Floridians, millions of people across our state and all across America are saddened today by the loss of Gov. Lawton Chiles.

There is no simple way to sum up the extraordinary achievements of Lawton Chiles' life. But the tributes pouring in from every part of our state and country make it clear we are all better for knowing him. On behalf of all the people that knew, respected, loved and learned from Lawton Chiles, our prayers and our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Rhea, their four children and their 10 grandchildren.

Lawton Chiles

Chiles' last journey to recall his famous first

MacKay steps into awkward 23 days

MacKay's statement

Tim Nickens: He-Coon' walked own path

Howard Troxler: Chiles had faith in politics and trust in the voters

Words from the heart of a He-Coon

Funeral plans

Chiles photo gallery

Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay: a quick look at the man who will take over until Jeb Bush is sworn in.

Times forum: What will be Chiles' legacy in Florida? Participate in a special forum and share your thoughts.

Earlier coverage:
Gov. Chiles dies

To the end, Chiles had plans for new career

Chiles' legacy to grow with Florida's children

Floridians remember a man of the people

Chiles' health an issue for years

Sad as this time is, and even as we mourn the death of this great man, this is also a time to celebrate the gentle but lasting ways he changed our state and the lives of its people. The joy he found in living and giving so much of himself to others is a shining example to anyone in public service, and for anyone who truly values family, friends and community.

Gov. Chiles never wanted to talk about his legacy, because he still had miles to go in his journey of service. But the truth is Lawton Chiles' legacy is all around us. You can see it in the bright futures that await children whose health care and education has been greatly improved. You can find it in the natural resources that will be here for the enjoyment of generations to come. And you can feel it in the hope that lives in the hearts of millions of people who believe as he did that we are at our best as a community and not as a crowd.

It's been my great privilege in my working life to have been Gov. Chiles' partner during the triumphant final miles of his long walk through history. The trail that he blazed goes on. Our challenge is to keep his memory alive by sharing his commitment to helping others.

We mourn the loss of one of Florida's favorite and best sons. There will never be another like him. God bless the Chiles family, our state and our future.


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