CLEVELAND (AP) - Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. never let his public duties or political involvement dominate a personal life devoted to family, his friends said at a memorial service for the former Ohio attorney general, secretary of state and state senator.
"When I'd see him at public appearances he didn't talk about politics. He talked about family," said another former Ohio attorney general, Lee Fisher.
Fisher was one of several former and current public officials who attended Celebrezze's memorial service Wednesday at St. John Cathedral in downtown Cleveland.
Among those sitting in the first pew were Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moyer, state Attorney General Jim Petro, state Auditor Betty Montgomery and Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell.
Noting the politicians during his homily, the Rev. David Soroham said that they "bring dignity on Tony's profession."
Soroham, who is from St. Catharine Church in the Columbus suburb of Bexley, where Celebrezze (pictured, above) attended Mass, said Celebrezze performed his political duties with honor and "great humility."
Celebrezze died of a heart attack on Friday, after a day of enjoying his hobby: racing miniature replicas of old cars.
Soroham said Celebrezze, who was 61, cherished the July 4 holiday because he worked tirelessly to protect freedom, from his days at the U.S. Naval Academy to his 16 years in public office.
On the way to the church service, Celebrezze's funeral procession went across the Center Street swing bridge, and the city's fire boat named after Celebrezze's father, a longtime Cleveland mayor, fired its water cannons in symbolic salute.