At funeral for Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, tears, laughter and remembrance
SALT LAKE CITY — The funeral for Sen. Orrin Hatch on Friday was held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Institute of Religion near the University of Utah and was open to the public.
And the members of the public who attended, as well as the senator’s family, friends and colleagues, were given a glimpse into the life of the senator they may not have known before.
Hundreds of people listened as friends and family spoke of the senator’s impact on their lives. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, part of the senator’s life in Washington D.C., said that Sen. Hatch remained humble after 42 years of service to the people of Utah.
“Forty-two years as a high-ranking politician, and every single day, Orrin marveled anew at the blessings our great country, and our mighty God had laid before him,” McConnell said.
Hatch’s son Brent was one of the speakers that recalled all the lives that were touched by Sen. Hatch.
“He was good friends with many people,” Hatch said. “Muhammad Ali was one of them. Muhammad visited many times and helped with his campaign.
“When he (Ali) passed, Dad spoke at his funeral. A Muslim and a Mormon finding common ground. Dad understood that,” said the Senator’s son.
Among other speakers was the first counselor in the first presidency in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dallin H. Oakes, who assured mourners that Sen. Hatch served Utahns during seven terms in office with devotion and humility.
Sen. Orrin Hatch was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. He died April 23 at the age of 88.
Sen. Hatch will be buried with military honors at the cemetery in the Cache County town of Newton, where he and his wife Elaine own a burial plot.
KSL NewsRadio reporter Mark Jackson contributed to this report.
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