FRANKLINTON, La. — Former Louisiana governor Mike Foster was remembered in his hometown of Franklin Wednesday with full military honors after a private memorial service.
Foster, 90, died Sunday at home surrounded by family.
Foster, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican to run for governor, served as the state's chief executive from 1996-2004. He also served two four-year terms as a state senator starting in 1988.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, noted the wide range of people, from across the political spectrum, who attended the public service.
"They wanted to come out here and pay their respects to a truly great Louisianan," Edwards said. "It was a short but moving ceremony, and I was glad to be asked to say a few words on behalf of the state."
The ceremony featured a military honor guard and a short religious observance. Foster was a veteran of the Korean War as a member of the U.S Air Force.
State Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, occupies the seat once held by Foster, after the former governor encouraged him to run for it.
"I've known Mr. Mike most of my life, since I was a teenager," Allain said. "He was somewhat of a mentor to me politically.
"He always said 'Do the right thing,' " said Allain, whose district runs through parts of St. Mary, Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. "That was the only instructions he ever gave us."
Reggie Dupre, execute director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, was elected state representative for the first time in the same election in which Foster won his first term as governor. Dupre said Foster immediately made him his point man for coastal and environmental issues.