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Funeral Services Details For Ex-Fla. Gov. Askew

By: Associated Press News; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Associated Press News; Lanetra Bennett Email
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By: Joe Hellriegel

Florida's 37th Governor memorial service at Faith Presbyterian Church Wednesday involved family members, friends, Governor Rick Scott, and other former Florida Governors, all who speak highly of Askew.

"He was a personal friend, a colleague, a leader to whom I looked up to a man who influenced my life from the first time we met as college students until he had left us," said former Florida Governor Bob Graham.

Those that spoke at the service included James Bacchus, Askew's former aid, former FSU President, Dr. Sandy D'Alemberte, Askew's son and grandchildren.

"Live with integrity, that's what he told me as I was coming in as governor. I had the opportunity to meet with him and he said whatever you do, stay true, people put their faith and trust in you, and don't ever let them down," said former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

After the service, the casket carrying Governor Askew's body was taken away, followed closely by his family members.

"I had a long relationship with him, he was always a great guy. Every time I came to Tallahassee for some event I had a chance to chat with him, he was just a really upbeat human being who really loved government," said former Florida Governor Bob Martinez.


Associated Press News Release
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Funeral services are underway for former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who was known as a progressive leader during a time of great social change.

Wednesday's funeral at a Presbyterian church in Tallahassee is being attended by Gov. Rick Scott, former Florida governors and other dignitaries.

Askew died Thursday at 85. He served as governor from 1971 to 1979, a time when the Vietnam War was ending and women and minorities were fighting for equality.

Askew integrated the Florida Highway Patrol, appointed the first black in 100 years to the Florida Cabinet and the first black Supreme Court justice. He also appointed the first woman to the Cabinet and supported the Equal Rights Amendment

He was also known for putting in place ethics and open government laws that endure today.


Associated Press News Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A funeral will be held for former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who was known as a progressive leader during a time of great social change.

Wednesday's funeral will be attended by Gov. Rick Scott, former Florida governors and other dignitaries.

Askew died Thursday at 85. He served as governor from 1971 through 1978, a time when the Vietnam War was ending and women and minorities were fighting for equality.

Askew integrated the Florida Highway Patrol, appointed the first black in 100 years to the Florida Cabinet and the first black Supreme Court justice. He also appointed the first woman to the Cabinet and supported the Equal Rights Amendment

He was also known for putting in place ethics and open government laws that endure today.


By: Lanetra Bennett
March 18, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - The body of former Governor Reubin Askew returned to where he spent all of his legislative service. Askew was lying in repose Tuesday at the Old Florida Capitol, where loved ones, dignitaries, and the public paid their respects to Florida's 37th governor.

Askew is widely recognized as one of Florida's and the nation's greatest governors.

Public Affairs Consultant, Jack Cory, says, "I think every Floridian should pause for a few moments to thank Governor Askew and wish him God-speed home."

A military honor guard carried a flag-draped casket into the historic Old Capitol in Tallahassee Tuesday morning. It was taking the body of Reubin Askew to the place where he first took oath as Florida's 37th governor in 1971.

Governor Rick Scott and the first lady, Cabinet members, legislative leaders, and Supreme Court justices formed a procession behind the casket.

Cory says, "I think Governor Askew typifies the best of Florida. He was very, very strong-willed. He was very spiritual as everyone knows. He never drank, ever. But, he had his own opinions and could be very dogmatic."

Askew died March 13th at age 85.

Dignitaries and members of the public came to pay their respects as Askew's casket lied in repose on the second floor of the old capitol.
Some people did so from a far, while others walked by the casket slowly. Many, like FSU Political Science Professor Carol Weissert, stopped and said a short prayer.

Weissert says, "He was an exemplar of integrity and courage and it's very sad that he died. He was a very kind man and a very generous man. He was wonderful with students."

Florida's former attorney general, Bob Butterworth, says, "Some people thought he was not going to be strong enough to be the governor. He might have been the strongest governor we've ever had."

Tuesday's viewing ended at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a memorial service at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee at 2 p.m. Askew will be buried with full military honors on Friday in Pensacola.


Associated Press News Release
By STEVE BOSQUET

TALLAHASSEE -- Under overcast skies Tuesday morning, a military honor guard lifted the flag-draped casket carrying former Gov. Reubin Askew's body up the steep steps of the historic Old Capitol in Tallahassee.

Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott, Cabinet members, legislative leaders and Supreme Court justices formed a procession behind the casket, as Askew lay in state in the building where he first took the oath as governor on Jan. 5, 1971. Note cards printed for the occasion called the ceremony "the final tribute from a grateful state."

Askew died last Thursday (March 13) at age 85.

Florida's political past reappeared as dozens of political leaders, former aides and associates and friends filed through the building, most pausing at the casket to pay final respects to Florida's 37th governor.

Askew's official portrait was displayed nearby as his widow, Donna Lou, children Kevin and Angela and grandchildren accepted condolences in a short receiving line.

Three former governors -- Bob Graham, Wayne Mixson and Bob Martinez -- were there. Also on hand were former aides Jim Apthorp, Jim Bacchus, Doug Sessions and Guy Spearman; former state treasurer Bill Gunter; former FDLE Commissioner Jim York; and former Secretary of State Bruce Smathers.

"It's good to see Florida giving the tribute that they're giving," said a teary-eyed George Sheldon, who got his start in politics as a young aide to then-state Sen. Askew.

Former four-term state attorney general Bob Butterworth said it was appropriate that Askew was being remembered in the Old Capitol, an enduring link to the days of florid rhetoric, spittoons in the Senate and the dominance of the rural clique of lawmakers known as the pork choppers.

"Walking in here, you have the feeling that he's still here," Butterworth said. "It's so symbolic because he's sort of between the old and new Florida. He's the bridge."

"I miss him so much," said Bacchus, a former congressman from Orlando who worked as a young speechwriter for Askew who will be one of three speakers at Wednesday afternoon's memorial service.

Former FSU President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, who served in the Legislature when Askew was governor, recalled his friend as someone who didn't like to get up early but liked to stay up late, when he would plot political strategy.

"If you were at home and had a couple of drinks, and the phone rang, your dread was it was going to be Gov. Askew, giving you an assignment," D'Alemberte said.

Smathers recalled Askew's tough side and his willingness to play political hardball to get his way on an issue.

"He was humble before God, but not before the rest of us," Smathers said. "He was tough when he needed to be tough. The guy was a very formidable opponent."


Associated Press News Release
By KAREEM COPELAND

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The viewing of the late Gov. Reubin Askew is underway at the state Capitol, where officials and residents are paying their respects.

A hearse carrying Askew's coffin pulled up to the old Capitol around 9:30 a.m. Eight members of an honor guard carried the casket draped in an American flag inside.

Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials lined the sidewalks and followed inside to the second floor. The public was allowed in around 10:30 a.m.

Inside the old Capitol, a short receiving line of family stood beside the casket with a single white flower laid on top.

Askew died last week at age 85. His eight years in office during the 1970s coincided with the end of the Vietnam War, Watergate and dramatic social change across the nation.


Associated Press News Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The body of the late Gov. Reubin Askew is being brought to the state Capitol, where officials and residents can pay their respects.

A hearse carrying Askew's coffin will be brought to the old Capitol on Tuesday. An honor guard will carry Askew's body into the old Capitol.

Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials will line up to honor Askew upon arrival. Members of the public will be allowed inside later in the day.

Askew died last week at age 85. His eight years in office during the 1970s coincided with the end of the Vietnam War, Watergate and dramatic social change across the nation.

A memorial service is scheduled at a Tallahassee church on Wednesday.

Askew will be buried with full military honors on Friday in Pensacola.


News Release: Gov. Scott's Office

Early this morning, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Governor Reubin O’Donovan Askew passed away. Governor Askew was the 37th Governor of Florida, and the first Governor to be elected to a second, successive four-year term in Florida history. He began his service to our country in 1946 when he enlisted in the United States Army. After discharging as a sergeant in 1948, he once again served our country as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

Governor Askew’s public service career began in 1956 when he served as assistant county solicitor for Escambia County. From there, he went on to be elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1958, and then the Florida Senate in 1962 where he served as president pro tempore. In 1970, he was elected Governor and went on to pursue tax reform, the creation of water management districts, and improved ethical standards and accountability for candidates and public officials. Governor Askew taught at all ten major public universities in Florida, and most recently, he served as an eminent scholar chair at the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University.

Governor Askew exemplified the ideals of public service. As a mark of respect for the memory of Governor Askew, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown immediately at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida, until sunset on the date of internment.


Statement from Gov. Scott on Gov. Askew's Passing:

TAMPA, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today made the following statement regarding the passing of former Florida Governor Reubin Askew early this morning at the age of 85.

Governor Scott said, "Governor Askew served our nation as a veteran, he served Florida’s families as an elected officeholder, and he served our children as an educator. He helped lead Florida to enormous growth and was a trailblazer for good government. His advocacy for Florida’s sunshine laws was a landmark moment for ethics and transparency in government, and that legacy continues to endure.

“His accomplishments were vast, but he remained humble and took his commitment to public service seriously. Governor Askew strove to make life better for all of Florida’s families, and that dedication is an example for all who followed in his footsteps. Ann and I mourn his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Donna Lou, and his entire family."


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