BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Beloved leader, neighbor and friend. That’s how William Donald Schaefer is being remembered. Schaefer was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.
Kai Jackson has more on the touching funeral service that attracted an overflow crowd.
More than 850 people were able to fit inside the church. Those who were not, overflowed into the Tremont Plaza Hotel. Others lined up on Charles Street, where the ceremony was broadcasted on loud speakers.
Members of the Maryland National Guard escorted William Donald Schaefer’s casket into old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Hundreds filled the pews to remember and honor our beloved former mayor and governor.
The ceremony began with a request from the governor, a song from Morgan State University Choir.
Former aide and friend Lainy LeBow-Sachs was always by his side, professionally and personally until the end. She delivered the first of three heart-felt eulogies.
“My professional obsession transitioned into a personal one that never stopped until the final moment of his life when I sat there holding his hand, telling him how much I loved him and watched him take his final breath,” LeBow-Sachs said.
William Donald Schaefer is responsible for everything that is Baltimore today. He grew up on Edgewood Street in West Baltimore.
Schaefer, 89, died April 18. He was Baltimore’s mayor from 1971 to 1986 and governor from 1987 to 1995. A war veteran, he also served as comptroller, but he always said it was his work as mayor that he loved the most.
“When future generations peak through the telescope of history, let them say of him that when it came to caring for people and communities that he did not waver, that he did not flinch, that he did not sherp his responsibilities to face the issues head on,” former Congressman Kweisi Mfume said.
“But he would ask us, what are you doing to do to help someone today? I know what we did yesterday. What are you going to do tomorrow?” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
Schaefer’s message in work and in life was do something good and do it now. It’s a message his colleagues and friends hope will live on forever.
“So while I am certain that he is loving every minute of this three-day celebration, I can see him pointing his finger at all of us to make sure that with all of the fanfare we don’t lose sight of what really mattered most. He wanted all of the people to remember was just two words: he cared. And we sure do. Governor. I love you very very much,” said LeBow-Sachs.
TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ)–The legendary tribute wrapped up in Baltimore County.
Derek Valcourt continues WJZ’s complete coverage from Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.
The ceremony lasted only about 15 minutes. It marked the official end to a three-day-long tribute to William Donald Schaefer, a man who was a life-long public servant.
As his body was escorted into the cemetery, bagpipes played as a riderless horse followed his casket symbolizing a leader who rides no more. A 19-shot salute fired from cannons as his casket is carried in ceremony for the last time.
The flag draped over his coffin was presented to his long-time friend and trusted aide LeBow-Sachs. This final tribute, the most solemn of all had no laughs, only a few tears, as mourners are left with a Maryland state helicopter fly-over and memories of the man they loved.
“He gave a lifetime of service for the people and the people repay [him] for the enormous gift of service he brought to them,” said one mourner.
“I live way on the Eastern Shore. It definitely was fitting,” said another.
“He deserved it. He did a lot for the state,” said a Maryland resident.
“We loved him,” said another.
Schaefer’s final resting place is inside a massive mausoleum, next to his lifelong partner, former first hostess of Maryland, Hilda Mae Snoops.