BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – People from across Louisiana and the nation paid their final respects to former Governor Edwin Edwards as his body laid in the state capitol. They came from all walks of life to see the man who made history from politicians who served alongside him, to family who hold him close to their hearts
“My heart is broken. I will miss him every minute of every day,” Anna Edwards, Gov. Edwards’ daughter said.
As his body laid in a simple casket, surrounded by photos of his career and family, the governor spent one more day in the capitol that he resided in for four terms.
“Whatever bad, whatever happened with his legal battles, let that be one chapter. But there’s a whole book. Let that be one chapter,” U.S. Rep. Troy Carter said.
His wife Trina and young son Eli were joined by Edwards’ older children and tribe of grandchildren. People shook their hands and passed on one more story of the late governor.
“The one thing I want them to remember is that no matter what our problem was, he tried to find a solution for you. Be it himself or send you to the right place so that you can get help,” Anna Edwards said. “I’ve heard so many stories about things my dad has done for people, it’s just overwhelming.”
She said she never imagined life without her dad.
“He was a very loving, conscientious man who cared about his family first and somehow managed to care about everybody else too,” Anna Edwards said.
For those who met him in the political sphere, they remembered him as a man who made sure things got done with a few humorous quips.
“The magnitude of this great man has always been vibrant, quick wit, sharp, and to see him in a casket is difficult because you don’t see a giant at rest,” Rep. Carter said.
Members of the public wanted a chance to pay their respects to a man who they have watched take center stage and capture headlines for decades.
“I think of him as the governor that saved Louisiana from David Duke,” said Richard Flicker, a Baton Rouge resident. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here. I was somebody who had said I would never vote for Edwin Edwards, [then was] campaigning for him for that election.”
Whether people remember him for writing a new state constitution, bolstering social programs, battling David Duke, or his prison stay, most agree Edwin Edwards will always have a handprint on Louisiana’s history.
“It’s a life spent, a life that will be missed, but a legacy that will live on forever,” Rep. Carter said.
Sunday at noon a procession will bring the governor’s body to the Old State Capitol for a private funeral service. That service will be available to watch online.