Lloyd Bentsen Memorial Service

Lloyd Bentsen
More than 2,000 people attended a memorial service yesterday in remembrance of former US Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports.

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Hundreds of people poured into the overflow rooms at First Presbyterian Church of Houston, while family members, close friends and political colleagues filed into the sanctuary. The Memorial Service for Senator Lloyd Bentsen was attended by U.S. Congressmen, Senators and former President Bill Clinton, who gave the eulogy.

"Now we come to thank him one last time and bid him farewell. And I, as his friend, have a great deal to thank him for. I thank for his life with you, BA, for giving all the rest of us something to look at and to look forward to, to believe in the power of love."

Bentsen served as Secretary of the Treasury for two years during President Clinton's first term. Bentsen was a conservative Democrat, known for his ability to unite members from both parties. Bentsen began his career in politics as the county judge in Hidalgo County in 1946. He was elected to congress two years later and remained active in politics for the next 50 years.

"Lloyd Bentsen lived a rich, full life with discipline, energy, grace and joy. He touched the lives of millions of others here in his beloved Texas, across the country and eventually all around the world."

First Presbyterian's Senior Pastor William Vanderbloemen also addressed the congregation, saying Lloyd Bentsen was a man who never focused on problems, but was a man of solutions.

"My first and last impression of him were of a man who, with the sick irony of the world, had had his greatest assets taken away. Once known for wisdom and physical strength, he'd been robbed in his golden years. And so what do we say to those things? What do you say to the things that are gnawing at you and causing you to look down at this world? Friends I would point you, once again, to the way that Christ's gospel was reflected in the life of this man. In the crucible of pain and suffering, in the middle of the biggest problems in the world, Lloyd Bentsen looked for the solution."

Bentsen was hailed as the last of an era of Texas politicians who united social liberalism and fiscal conservatism. Other guests in attendance at the service included Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Cornyn, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Houston Mayor Bill White among others. Laurie Johnson Houston Public Radio News.

Listen to Memorial Service for Lloyd Bentsen

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...