Kentuckians say goodbye to Wendell H. Ford in Capitol memorial

01/25/2015 07:07 PM

FRANKFORT — The public said goodbye and thank you to Wendell H. Ford, Kentucky’s 53rd governor and former 24-year U.S. senator, at a memorial in the Capitol Rotunda Sunday.

Ford’s coffin, shrouded in white roses, laid at the feet of the bronze 104-year-old, 14-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln as friend and former Ford staffer Thomas L. Preston eulogized a “colossus” in Kentucky politics.

Showcasing Ford’s sense of humor, Preston remarked that the honor of eulogizing the late Ford, who passed away Thursday at the age of 90, was bestowed upon him by Ford because Preston was “about as common as anyone” Ford knew.

“Here truly was and is one of God’s finest designs. Yes, a colossus performing good deeds for so many whenever, wherever opportunities arose,” Preston said.

With a majority of Kentucky’s still living governors in attendance Preston remarked on Ford’s accomplishments in office and his friend’s mantra, “The only reason for the existence of government is to serve the people.”

Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen both offered prayers for friends and family.

“And we pray that his example inspires a new generation of statesmen and women to lead his beloved Kentucky,” Luallen said. “May you rest in peace now senator, you gave us all you had to give. Amen.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.