SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 17, 2012

Friends memorialize ex-Sen. Specter in Pa.

With AP Photos. AP Video.

NARBERTH, Pa. — Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter was an "irreplaceable" force who approached politics — and life — with grit and determination, a who's who of politicians and others said yesterday at the longtime senator's funeral.

"I've never seen as much undaunted courage as Arlen had — both physically and politically. He believed he could change the world, if he just worked hard enough at it," Vice President Joe Biden told mourners, including three Pennsylvania governors, federal judges and hundreds of friends, at Har Zion Temple in Narberth, a Philadelphia suburb.

Specter died at his Philadelphia home on Sunday at 82 after battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He had spent 30 years in the Senate before losing his seat in 2010, after crossing party lines to vote for President Barack Obama's stimulus package and later switching parties.

"In a dark time for our nation, he was willing to lose his seat to cast a decisive vote," said Specter's son Shanin, whose remarks capped about 90 minutes of tributes.

U.S. District Judge Jan DuBois recalled how his friend approached everything in life "with intensity, determination and grit," managing to teach one last law class on Oct. 4 at the University of Pennsylvania, even as he was losing his third fight with cancer.

Specter's influence on law, medicine, politics, Judaism and other walks of life was clear from the diverse, bipartisan and powerful crowd of mourners, including Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and rows dotted with current and former members of Congress, along with federal judges whose careers Specter backed.

Specter, a political moderate, switched parties twice but mostly served as a Republican. Speakers said he honed his respect for opposing viewpoints as a child, growing up in the only Jewish family in Russell, Kan.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140721_SN_PBI_MARKETB_090 Thousands rally after 8 Market Basket execs are fired

    TEWKSBURY -- Valerie Edge has never been afraid for her job. Through the death of her father, a near-fatal crash involving her daughter, and her own lengthy illness, the five-year employee of the Epping, N.H., Market Basket said her bosses always tol

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos 1 Slideshow 4 Stories

  • 140721_SN_DLE_MARKETBASKET5 North Shore Market Basket workers, customers remain defiant

    MIDDLETON -- The Market Basket revolt continues, despite the firing of eight insurgent employees. Workers at the Middleton store on Monday were still making clear their position in favor of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, though in some cases with ca

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos 5 Stories

  • Lindsay Obama denies religious exemption urged by Gordon College president

    WENHAM — The letter that has caused so much controversy for Gordon College has gone unheeded by President Barack Obama.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo 7 Stories

  • Tobin Bridge toll booths are history BOSTON -- The next time you drive over the Tobin Bridge on Route 1 into Boston, you won't have to fumble for your wallet or root through your purse to pay the toll. On Monday, the state Department of Transportation replaced the toll booths on the upp

    July 22, 2014

  • 140715_SN_DLE_ABBOTTHALL1 Heard Around Town: For Seth Moulton, there's no place like home Candidate for congress in the Democratic Party and Marblehead homeboy Seth Moulton might have gotten a jolt when the Democratic Town Committee recently endorsed his opponent, incumbent Rep. John Tierney of Salem. The Marine Corps and Iraq veteran is

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos