TACOMA, Wash. - Hundreds have gathered to honor former Gov. Booth Gardner at a public memorial Saturday for how he publicly shaped the state and how he privately shaped his family.
Former Gov. Chris Gregoire gave a tribute to Gardner at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse in Tacoma. At times emotional, Gregoire remembered how he championed issues like the environment, early childhood education and health care. She said Gardner's legacy affects every person in Washington.
"His amazing legacy has left a lasting impact on the lives and the livelihoods of literally every single person in Washington state," said Gregoire, at times emotional in recalling her former boss and mentor.
Gardner died March 15 from complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 76.
Along with his accomplishments in public office, speakers recalled Gardner's private legacy, describing him as a humble and compassionate man with a weak spot for hamburgers.
Gardner was the state's 19th governor, leading the state from 1985 to 1993 following terms as Pierce County executive, state senator and business school dean.