Friends, family, and colleagues gathered Friday to honor former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson during a memorial service in Nashville.
The public service got underway at 10 a.m. inside War Memorial Auditorium. Thompson died November 1 after a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73.
He was born in Sheffield, Alabama but grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee – the site of his final resting place.
Thompson, 6-foot-6 with a booming voice and folksy demeanor, appeared in at least 20 motion pictures. Additional credits included “In the Line of Fire,” “The Hunt for Red October,” and “Cape Fear.”
During the nearly 90-minute service, Thompson was remembered for his wit and sincerity, along with his iconic sense of humor.
Sen. Lamar Alexander reminisced on Thompson’s larger than life personality, which came across in real life, as well as the many roles he portrayed on film and television.
“Very few people could light up a room the way Fred Thompson did,” said Sen. Alexander. “And the truth is all of us in public life have always been a little jealous of Fred Thompson.”
The service was also filled with some of Thompson’s favorite music. Country singer John Rich, who performed an emotional, acoustic rendition of “Amazing Grace,” said he loved Gospel music.
Thompson was also remembered for his sharp wit and down to earth personality – traits that made him an ideal public servant.
Sen. John McCain noted his rare ability to possess both “authenticity and authority.”
“When Fred got on a tear, it would seem like God himself was addressing you – if God came from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and had a drawl,” McCain said.
Since his death, numerous politicians have paid tribute to him, including Governor Bill Haslam who called Thompson a “unique Tennessean.”
Haslam ordered flags at the State Capitol and all state office buildings to fly at half-staff in his honor. They will be raised back to full staff at sunset Friday.
Thompson’s funeral will re-air on NewsChannel 5 Plus on Saturday at 1 p.m.
SOURCE: News Channel 5 Network