Former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus lying in state at Capitol

BOISE, ID - Idaho's longest serving governor died last Thursday of complications from lung cancer, one day before his 86th birthday. 

Cecil D. Andrus served a total of 14 years in Idaho's highest position. He was the last Democrat to hold the chief executive office in red-state Idaho.

"Did we have our disagreements? We said, 'absolutely, we had our disagreements', but they were always in [Cecil's] office," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said. "They were never on the first five minutes of the radio news or the front page of the newspaper. We did have those disagreements, but we also had Idaho's best at heart, and he led the way."

As a four-term governor and Secretary of the Interior under President Jimmy Carter, there was no shortage of memories to be shared at the ceremony.

"He very much had a deep and abiding affection for the State Police," Andrus' former press secretary Marc Johnson said. "He could memorize, and would memorize, their plate numbers as we traveled around the state. And, of course, he took it as one of his greatest, if not the greatest, responsibilities as governor to serve as commander-in-chief of the state National Guard."

During the ceremony, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter announced Capitol Park will be renamed "Cecil D. Andrus Capitol Park" in honor of the former governor. 

"We were fortunate to call him an Idahoan; I was blessed to call him my friend," Otter said.

People can pass by Andrus' casket starting Wednesday in the Idaho Statehouse until Thursday afternoon. The public is invited to a memorial service inside the Jordan Ballroom at the Boise State University Student Union Building to start at 2:00 p.m Thursday Aug. 31.

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