Hundreds honor long-time Idaho politician Pete Cenarrusa

Hundreds honor long-time Idaho politician Pete Cenarrusa

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by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 5 at 8:54 AM

BOISE – Hundreds honored an Idaho icon Friday morning. The funeral of Pete Cenarrusa, long time Idaho politician, was held in downtown Boise at the St. John's Cathedral.

Those who spoke at the service, and those KTVB spoke to after the service, say that Cenarrusa was a man among men, a man that all of us should emulate.

"It was just an amazing thing to be a part of . . . somebody of Pete's stature and experience," said Boise Mayor David Bieter.

From fellow Basque and long time friend Bieter, to long time fellow public servant Governor Butch Otter.

"I can't remember when I didn't know him," said Otter.

The life Pete Cenarrusa lived touched many people.

"Pete was many things in his life, but his first love was ranching, and he indeed was a good sheep herder," said Rev. W. Thomas Faucher.

In the eyes of the public, and especially his fellow elected officials, Cenarrusa led the way.

"Pete obviously set a standard that all of us would do well to try to follow," said Otter.

"He set the bar pretty high by practicing the golden rule, not only in life, but in politics," said Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.

"He was a man of honesty and integrity, a just man," said Faucher.

The services were really about who Cenarrusa was - and because of that, there was laughing and crying.

"He told me he'd rather take a beating than give a speech," said Ysursa. "I told him I'd rather take a beating than listen to it."

Yet he still made a career out of politics and lived this motto.

"Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can as long as you ever can," quoted Ysursa.

Those actions were buoyed up by his religion, something he lived throughout his life.

"In his final days, restricted to home, he wanted and received communion every week," said Faucher.

It's impossible to cover 95 years in just one hour, but for those who attended - they got a pretty good idea.

"It really couldn't have been any better, and so perfect for Pete. At 95 years old it was a fitting tribute," said Bieter.

Cenarrusa spent more than half of his life and more than half of a century in the service of the public. He's a man that will not soon be forgotten.

Cenarrusa died Sunday at the age of 95. He will be buried Saturday in Bellevue, ID.

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