By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Political leaders from around Maryland attended former Mayor and Governor William Donald Schaefer’s funeral on Wednesday.

Mike Hellgren spoke with the following dignitaries who shared their memories of Schaefer.

Former Baltimore County Executive Donald P. Hutchinson: “No one’s going to have a greater impact on this city–ever.” 

“He really was someone who understood what it meant to build things.  When you build things, people see them, people understand them.  People believe that there’s going to be new growth, new development.” 

“I think with Schaefer, everyone was paying attention.  He forced you to pay attention …Not by just his actions but by his words and by mostly his deeds. And I think that’s his lasting legacy.” 

Sandy Hillman, public relations executive who worked with Schaefer: “Mayor Schaefer has done in death what he did in life.  I think he has re-ignited the spirit of this city.” 

Mayor Rick Meehan, Ocean City: “He was a true friend of Ocean City.  He loved Ocean City.  He loved being there.” 

“He’s responsible for beach replenishment, convention center, completing the bypasses that help people reach the beach.”

“Governor Schaefer was truly a governor for the whole state of Maryland, and he was a true friend to Ocean City.” 

Former Governor Marvin Mandel: “It’s a terrible day for me because Don and I grew up together.  We were both born in the fifth district of Baltimore City.”

“He did a tremendous amount for the city of Baltimore.  They’ll never be another person who can contribute as much.” 

“I think he deserves it.  I really do.  I think what he did during his life is what made this turnout because he took care of everybody.  He loved people.” 

Bishop L. Robinson, the first African-American police commissioner of Baltimore, who was commissioner of the department between 1984 and 1987: “Just a great man.  One of the greatest men I’ve ever known…William Donald Schaefer.” 

Sheila Dixon, former mayor of Baltimore: “Of course, I went to him when I was mayor to get his advice, and he gave some great advice about if you’re passionate and you love this city, make sure nobody makes excuses, get the job done.” 

Commissioner Fred Bealefeld, Baltimore City Police Department: “He really was for generations of us the architect of selfless service.” 

“This is a man who just wanted to make people’s lives more comfortable and the city that he loved, better.”

“This wasn’t a guy who was trying to get a front row seat to anything.  He was just trying to work real, real hard to make the city great.”

Nancy S. Grasmick, Ph.D, State Superintendent of Schools: “He would love this celebration, and this recognition that people understood his motivation and it was all about caring about people and doing the right thing.”

Lenny Moore, Colts legend: “I did get in to see him, and he was lying in the bed, and I said ‘Hey, my man, how are you doing?’ just like that, and he looked up and said, ‘Spots, spots’ he said, ‘Spots.’”

“He looked at me and did this, a statue a statue.” 

“I just wanted to come in and say, ’I was just thinking about you, thought I’d come in and say hello.’ ” 

Michael Busch, Speaker of House of Delegates, District 30, Anne Arundel County: “He was a doer.  The first thing he told all the freshman legislators was, ‘I’m building two stadiums in downtown Baltimore.  I want you to support it.’  We obviously did.” 

“He was a guy who made things happen and never made excuses.” 

“He’ll be remembered as someone who on his own personality alone lifted the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland on his shoulders and determined it was going to move forward to be one of the finest states in the country.”

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger: “When I decided to run for office, one of the first people I went to see was William Donald Schaefer.” 

“I said, well, Mayor Schaefer, what advice do you have, and he said, ‘Well, the first thing.  You don’t want to get in this business unless you want to help and care about people.’”

“He wanted his Baltimore to be the best in the country, and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.” 

Sen. Barbara Mikulski: “It’s the passing of a great guy. He was a Baltimore original. We’re going to miss him terribly, but we’ve got to keep the spirit going.” 

“Both of us never met a calorie we didn’t like or a hand we didn’t want to shake.” 

“It’s not about a single memory.  It’s about the way he was every single day.  He got up with his action memos, was out in the community, moving the bureaucracy, shaking it up to bring bucks to Baltimore.” 

Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz: “He’ll be sorely missed, but his legacy and his lessons live on, especially for someone like me.” 

Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore City Council: “I already cared about people.  He taught me to go the extra mile.  That’s what I learned from him.  Don’t stop because you hit the brick wall. Keep going.” 

Comptroller Peter Franchot: “He left us with all these cultural and economic centers of excellence, but he also left us with that tradition of ‘Hey, you’ve got a problem, I’m going to stop and listen.'” 

“Winston Churchill was defeated at the polls–the guy beat Nazi Germany, and he was defeated by someone. Everyone remembers Churchill. No one remembers who ran against him, and everyone will remember William Donald Schaefer, and I’m lucky enough to have his seat for a few years.” 

Former Governor Bob Ehrlich: “He would just give me advice—unsolicited mostly—but the bottom line to that advice was remember that you came from Congress, you were one of many, here you’re one of one.” 

“If he thought you were operating outside your heart, he would never forgive you, and as a result, he never viewed life as a function of Republicans and Democrats, it was always are you doing the right thing, are you trying to help people.” 

Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume: “He was a rare, rare individual who did great things, and probably the most prolific individual in the state of Maryland–bar none.” 

“We’re better as a city.  We’re better as a state, and those of us who’ve worked with him are better as individuals for having known him.” 

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer: “I think it’s a testimony to the people of the city and the people of the state knew that William Donald Schaefer cared about them.” 

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler: “Rarely is there a person who cares so much about the city in which they lived and is in the condition and has the ability to make it a better place, and that’s what he did.”

Comments (2)
  1. Bernard Helinski says:

    Your coverage exceeded that of yr rival. I thought I could record the mass but only later to find out it didn’t work out. Thanks to you all to keep the commentary at a real minimum,especially when that gorgeous music filled the air. Again,well done.

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