KETCHUM -- Friends, family and colleagues of retired Idaho Sen. Clint Stennett remembered him in a memorial celebrationin Ketchum Friday afternoon and evening. Stennett died last month at the age of 54, losing a two-year battle with brain cancer.
There were hundreds of people at the River Run Lodge, from his family to dozens of politicians. Many told stories; some sad, some heartwarming, and many, down-right funny.
'Kind, gentle and honest'
He found Michelle and a beautiful love story ensued 14 years ago, and it's fantastic to watch that and to see that, Stennett's college friend Ed Garcia said. Clint was the kind of man that made you want to be a better person just being around him. He had that kind of effect on people. He was intelligent, yet humble. He was firm, but fair. He was always kind, gentle and honest.
The afternoon wasn't short on jokes, including assorted tales of Stennett riding horses, fishing, and skiing.
Clint was just great to go with, the only problem was there was absolutely only one requirement, is he did not like to get cold and he could not get wet! longtime friend Greg Hull joked.
Another obvious avenue for jokes from his bipartisan set of friends was politics.
Like ships passing in the night... I was raised a Democrat. Later, I saw the light! Former Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb said with a laugh.
'A genuine article'
Stennett's friends talked about his solid character that translated from his personal life to the Senate floor.
On first meeting with him, you know in cowboy terms, we call it he was a genuine article. He was a genuine article. He exuded integrity, Newcomb said.
Clint could see a wrong and he would always try to make it right. He had a burning desire to make the world a better place, and he did that, Garcia said.
'A whole, big-face smile'
Though he's passed, Stennett's friends said they won't soon forget him.
If I want to see Clint, all I have to do is close my eyes, look in my mind's eye, and he's standing there, when I say, 'Hey, Clint.' With his whole big face smile, Newcomb said.
Michelle Stennett took over her husband's legislative duties during the 2010 legislative session. She was elected to that District 25 Senate seat earlier this month.