Wash. lawmakers honor former House Speaker Tom Foley




Posted on November 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 2 at 9:47 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- More than 500 people attended the memorial service for former House Speaker Tom Foley on Friday at his alma mater, Gonzaga University.

SEE PHOTOS: A look back at Tom Foley's career
Foley, born and raised in Spokane, served for 30 years as the representative from Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District. He served five years as speaker of the House.

Several former and current lawmakers reminisced about the former Speaker of the House.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (D) called Foley a "Titan of Democracy" during the service.

"He was a representative of the best the state of Washington had to offer," added Gov. Inslee.

Both senators from Washington spoke at the memorial service.

"He thought of himself as the congressman from Spokane." "He was a brilliant, courageous leader," said Senator Patty Murray (D).

She was followed by Senator Maria Cantwell (D) who said that Foley often made light of the intense moments that come with politics.

"It is important to me that the story of his life in the Northwest and the whole country lives forever," Cantwell told the crowd.

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R) currently holds Foley's former seat in Congress.

"True giants never leave us," said Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA). "Even with his death, he has brought Eastern Washington to life."

A memorial in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday was attended by President Obama who remembered Foley for putting problem-solving ahead of politics