|awton Chiles closed the gap between powerful politicians and ordinary Floridians one last time Wednesday.
Vice President Al Gore and other political leaders joined hundreds of residents from throughout the state at the funeral for the governor and former U.S. senator who moved easily between the halls of government and the backroads of Florida.
The two-hour service at the red-brick Faith Presbyterian Church celebrated the various sides of Chiles, from his determination to help children and fight tobacco to his love of pranks and the outdoors. The tributes by his former colleagues, friends and family members inspired a mix of laughter, applause and tears.
"...if you disappointed us at all," said Buddy MacKay, his friend and colleague who is serving out the rest of Chiles' term., "it was only that you left us too early."
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Family, colleagues and friends follow Chiles' casket out of the church following funeral service. [Times photo: Jonathan Newton]
Mourning with joy for a life well-lived
They took the body of Gov. Lawton Chiles out of Faith Presbyterian Church to the strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, that grand, final movement of his Ninth Symphony, trumpets blaring. [Lucy Morgan]
Mansion opens its doors, heart for one last goodbye
Overflow crowd bids farewell to man they admired
Continue Chiles' work for children [Editorial]