Hundreds Gather For Memorial For Former Arkansas Congressman

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HARRISON (KFSM) - Hundreds of Arkansans were in Harrison Monday (May 4) to celebrate the life of the late Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt.

The memorial service for Hammerschmidt was held at the First Presbyterian Church.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Steve Womack, R-Ark. and U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. were among those who attended the service.

"He's made such a big difference for so many people throughout the state," Boozman said. "He loved the Lord. He loved the state, his country and his family."

Huckabee, who is expected to enter the presidential race on Tuesday (May 5), said Hammerschmidt was an amazing man who left his mark on the state and the country.

"He understood that he was not there to be served, but to serve others and he lived up to that in a way that a few others did," he said.

Hammerschmidt served in the U.S. Congress for 26 years before retiring in 1993. He became the first Arkansas Republican sent to Washington since the Reconstruction.

"The fact that he served all those years in Congress and never served in the majority, but was still able to work across the aisle and be so many things to our district, that's my definition of a statesman," Womack said.

While his achievements were many, it was his dedication to serving others that many said they'll remember most.

"The impact that his life will have will know no boundaries and that's all the positive lessons that he left behind and the impact he made," Rutledge said.

Hammerschmidt passed away April 1 at Regency Hospital in Springdale. He was 92.