HOUSTON — Former Gov. Mark White was remembered Wednesday as a dedicated and caring Texas leader by someone who later held the same elected position — George W. Bush.
Bush, the nation's 43rd president, spoke at White's funeral at Second Baptist Church in Houston. White, who battled kidney cancer, died Saturday at age 77.
White, his casket draped in a Texas flag, was a lawyer and Democrat who served one term as Texas governor, from 1983 until early 1987.
White was a "good and decent man" and a natural as Texas governor who strived for improvements in education, according to Bush.
"Mark envisioned a Texas where all children were educated," said Bush, a Republican who governed Texas from 1995 until 2000 when he won the presidency.
Two other prominent Texas Republicans, Gov. Greg Abbott and ex-Gov. Rick Perry, now U.S. Energy Secretary, were among the hundreds of mourners.
Luci Baines Johnson, a daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, praised White's efforts to improve Texas even after he left the governor's mansion. "He may have retired from public office, but he never retired from public service," she said.
White was to lie in state Thursday afternoon at the Capitol Rotunda in Austin, followed by a private family service at the Texas State Cemetery.
This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Abbott