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Originally published Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

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Remembering Booth

Reaction to the death of Gov. Booth Gardner

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“Booth made a personal connection with everyone he met — from children visiting the capital to the lawmakers he persuaded to always act for the greater good of Washington. ... After his life of public service, Booth was open with us about his health. And he led us to a respectful discussion about the dignity of life and death.”

— Gov. Jay Inslee

“Booth was a leader of tremendous compassion, dignity and bravery whose service to our state will live on far into the future. He was generous in sharing his wisdom and his time, and I will never forget the lessons he taught me when I was just beginning my political career in Olympia many years ago.”

— Sen. Patty Murray

“Gov. Gardner was a progressive visionary ahead of his time. His leadership helped give us environmental and land-use laws that shaped the successful Washington of today. And he championed gay rights and basic health-care access for the poor long before they were popular. He also leaves a lasting legacy of nurturing a generation of leaders, including me.”

— Former Gov.

Chris Gregoire

“He will be remembered for his impish sense of humor and never-failing common touch. He will be remembered as the original turnaround expert for a then-troubled Pierce County government. He will be remembered as a governor who guided a historic amount of progress while never tooting his own horn.”

— U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, who served as chief of staff during Gov. Gardner’s second term

“Booth Gardner was a compassionate and thoughtful man. His strong values of fairness and equality led him in his decades-long work to improve our health-care and education systems. Washington state is a better place because of his leadership.”

— Seattle Mayor

Mike McGinn

“He was a politician with a personal touch. He also knew how to make everyone in a crowded room feel special. He touched the hearts of all Washingtonians when he told the son of a Western Washington University administrator at his parent’s funeral, ‘I lost my mom, too. I never got to say goodbye.’ ”

— Sen. Maria Cantwell

“Gov. Gardner was known as a man who could talk to anyone, because he treated everyone the same way — like a fellow human being. ”

— King County Executive

Dow Constantine

“Booth was a leading voice for the Parkinson’s community throughout the state and the entire country. ... His legacy will endure through his work in establishing the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center.”

— Steve Wright, executive director, Northwest

Parkinson’s Foundation

“I was a freshman member of the minority party of the lower house and yet Booth Gardner knew my name. I had a handful of conversations with him. I was the least important person there, but he seemed genuinely interested in talking to me. You got the sense that he knew all 147 of us.”

— Former state Republican Party Chairman

Chris Vance, who was in the state House the last two years of Gardner’s

second term

“They say a person dies two deaths: the death of the body and a second when stories about him stop being told. It will be a very long time before we run out of stories about Gov. Booth.“

— U.S. Rep.

Jim McDermott, D-Seattle

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