PALM BEACH (CBS4) – Former Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott were among those who paid their respects Monday at a funeral service for former Gov. Claude Kirk.

Remembered as a history making politician and a one-of-a-kind character, Kirk passed away last Wednesday at the age of 85.

David Lawrence, a friend of Kirk’s and the former publisher of the Miami Herald, called the former governor a bridge “to the future in Florida” in one of three eulogies delivered at Bethesda-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church.

Kirk was a colorful insurance executive from Jacksonville who was elected governor in 1966. He was the first Republican governor in Florida in the 20th century. Kirk is credited with changing the course of state government and politics during his four-year term. Kirk was often referred to as “Claudius Maximus” due to his flamboyant personality.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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