ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WJZ) — Longtime Maryland Senate President Mike Miller was laid to rest Saturday.

His family gathered for a private service that was streamed online, followed by his burial.

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During the service, his family spoke about what he meant to them, including his son, who delivered the eulogy.

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“Because of COVID, he didn’t get that great sendoff, but that’s what he would have wanted, just his family today,” Miller’s son said. “To so many Marylanders, he was known as Mr. President. To me, he was known as my dad, my hero, my mentor.”

On Friday, Maryland officials remembered the nation’s longest-serving state Senate president as a powerful leader who influenced policy for nearly half a century, a towering figure in state politics who could be gruff as well as kind.

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ANNAPOLIS, MD – JAN 22: Maryland Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. lies in state January 22, 2021 at the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis, Maryland.
(Photo by Bill O’Leary/Pool/The Washington Post)

“He always knew exactly where we were on the road to change,” former Sen. Robert Neall said. “Like a skilled railroad engineer, he had his hand on the throttle of change and moved us fast enough to overcome obstacles, yet slow enough so as not to derail the train.”

The Clinton, Maryland, native took office in 1975 representing Prince George’s County and became senate president in 1987.

He stepped down from the leadership role just over a year ago but continued to represent portions of Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s counties in Annapolis.

Miller died last week from complications from prostate cancer at the age of 78. His family said he died at home with his loved ones at his side. He is survived by his wife, children, eight siblings and 15 grandchildren.

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CBS Baltimore Staff