A packed house of family members, friends, associates, and colleagues paid their last respects Thursday morning to former Governor Hugh Leo Carey at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown.
Carey—a husband, father, legislator, and governor who lived a life marked by service to the city and dedication to New York State—passed away Sunday at the age of 92, surrounded by loved ones inside the family home on Shelter Island.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle attended Thursday's service, to honor a man many credit for saving New York City and State from the brink of collapse during an economic crisis during the 1970s.
"Hugh Carey was a political leader par excellence, elected Governor at a time when the city and state faced bankruptcy. But he took the matter in hand with incredible skill and unlimited courage," said Cardinal Edward Michael Egan, during his homily at Carey's funeral.
Indeed as one reads the newspaper editorials written recently about the former governor, there seems to be little else but the highest respect, admiration and gratitude for the late governor.
"He was a splendid political leader who exercised his authority with zeal and strength," Egan said.
As governor of New York, Carey served two full terms and is best remembered for successfully handling New York City's economic crisis in the late 1970s.
During his tenure as Governor, Carey managed to keep the growth of state spending below the rate of inflation, cut taxes significantly for corporations and individuals, and offered state-wide tax credits that encouraged new investments.
Though Cardinal Egan was quick to point out during his sermon that there was a great deal more to Governor Carey than just politics.
"The governor was a family man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren with all his heart and soul," he said.
Carey is survived by 11 children, many of whom delivered eulogies for the late governor on Thursday.
"Christmas was always a magical time in our family and I'd like to think that everyday now is Christmas for him up in heaven," one daughter said.
Immediately following the service, Carey was taken to Shelter Island, where he was later laid to rest near the family home.