William Donald Schaefer, former Md. governor, honored at funeral service in Baltimore

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Funeral services were held for former Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

A funeral procession with drummers, motorcycles, mounted police and a riderless horse escorted Schaefer's casket through the streets of Baltimore Wednesday morning from City Hall, where people paid their last respects over two days. Hundreds lined the procession route to Old St. Paul's Church and clapped as the hearse passed.

“Regardless of whether you liked his politics or not, to me he's just a great man and I love him. And this city and state is really gonna miss him. I'm sorry,” said Ellen Nagle.

A who's who of Maryland political and business power was in attendance in Baltimore's Old St. Paul's church. They heard music from the Morgan State Choir and eulogies from, among others, former Congressman and NAACP President Kwaisi Mfume.

“He played real hard and he made a real difference,” Mfume said.

Senator Barbara Mikulski remembers her days on the Balimtore City Council butting heads with the then-Mayor Schaefer. They grew to be strong allies.

“I loved meeting Schaefer at all the diners around Baltimore. Both of us never met a calorie we didn't like or a hand we didn't want to shake,” she said.

Several observed during the funeral service that Schaefer was a complicated man. He could be warm and friendly one minute and almost childish in his moody behavior the next. But they say, as his epitaph will read, he cared.

“He was a nice crazy, so to speak,” said Gail Smith.

“You could always reach out to him. He was a wonderful person,” said Caroline Jenkins.

The 89-year-old Schaefer died April 18. He was Baltimore's mayor from 1971 to 1986 and governor from 1987 to 1995. Schaefer will be interred at a mausoleum at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium on Wednesday afternoon.

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