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Hundreds Pay Final Respects To Former Boston Mayor Kevin White

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The city of Boston, and much of eastern Massachusetts, reflects the vision of former Mayor Kevin White, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and current Mayor Thomas Menino said at White's funeral Wednesday.

Read: Gary LaPierre's Blog On Mayor White

Frank, a top aide to White early in his political career, drew laughter from the packed pews at St. Cecilia's Church when he explained why Interstate 95 makes an awkward hook around Boston.

White simply didn't want another highway tearing through the center of the city, Frank said.

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields reports

It was White, Frank said, who envisioned a city without the elevated Central Artery, demolished several years ago when the highway was buried during the Big Dig project.

"I remember Kevin pounding on the wall ... pointing to the old Central Artery and saying that bleeping monstrosity has got to go," Frank said.

White taught Frank how to be a politician, through his actions and his demeanor, the congressman said.

"He made us proud to be Bostonians," Menino said. "He set a standard many of us are still trying to live up to."

A funeral procession left the Parkman House on Wednesday and wound its way through downtown streets and to the church in the city's Back Bay neighborhood.

A who's who of Massachusetts politicians, including U.S. John Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick, and White's successor, Ray Flynn filled the seats.

Police and Fire department color guards welcomed White's casket to the church, while a large photograph of White and his wife, Kathryn, sitting on the Boston Common, adorned the front of the church.

The funeral follows a daylong public viewing of White on Tuesday at the Parkman House near the Statehouse.

White died Friday at age 82 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He served four terms as mayor from 1968 to 1984.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports


White led the city through some of its toughest times, including the racially turbulent 1970s when busing divided the city along racial lines.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the

Mayor Kevin Hagan White Statue Preservation Committee

c/o Suite718

One Design Center Place

Boston, MA 02210

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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