"This deep and abiding love that she had for all of the people made her a special leader--authentic, consistent, and sincere."

Community members came together over the course of three days to celebrate the life of Louisiana's 54th governor, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco following her passing on August 18.

On Thursday, August 22 there was a Celebration of Life Interfaith Service, followed by an Honor Procession in front of the Louisiana State Capitol. From there, Governor Blanco lied in state at the Louisiana State Capitol Rotunda.

From Friday to Saturday there was the opportunity for public visitation in Lafayette. The services ended with a Mass of Christian Burial.

Governor Blanco was the first female Governor of Louisiana. However by the time of this election, she was accustomed to setting the standard for women. Governor Blanco was the first woman from Lafayette elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, the first woman elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission, and the first to serve as its chairwoman.

She then served as the Lieutenant Governor from 1996 to 2004, and then as Governor from 2004 to 2008.

Governor John Bel Edwards spoke at the Celebration of Life Interfaith Service. He attributed her time as a teacher and a mother to her effectiveness as a Governor.

"This deep and abiding love that she had for all of the people made her a special leader--authentic, consistent, and sincere," Governor Edwards said.

This love for the people of Louisiana, along with her faith helped her to lead Louisiana through some of its darkest days.

"In addition to her sense of humor and her contagious optimism, one of the things that I will cherish most about Kathleen is that she never stopped fighting for the people of this state," said Edwards.