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Saturday
Dec112010

Elizabeth Edwards Remembered at Funeral Service

Photo Courtesy - AmericanProgress [dot] org(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Funeral services were held Saturday in Raleigh for Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former senator and former presidential candidate John Edwards.

"When she could barely speak anymore," Edwards' daughter, Cate, said in a eulogy to her mother, "my dad and I sat at her bedside and held each of her hands and she just kept looking at us back and forth, saying, 'I'm okay. I'm okay.'"

The 61-year-old Edwards died this this week after a recurrence of breast cancer that had spread.  She was admired and respected for a quiet, calm demeanor in the face of many challenges including the death of her son Wade at 16, her husband's widely reported infidelity that led to the birth of an illegitimate child, and her courageous fight against cancer.

Cate Edwards, 28, shared part of a letter her mother wrote to her three living children before she died.

“For all I have said about life,” Elizabeth Edwards wrote, “I want to you to know that all I ever really needed was you … your love, your presence, to make my life complete.

Eulogies were also delivered by Edwards' longtime friends Hargrave McElroy and Glenn Bergenfield. John Edwards did not speak at the proceedings.

The service was attended by a number of political heavyweights, including Sen. John Kerry, with whom Edwards' husband shared the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004, and Vicki Kennedy, wife of late Sen. Ted Kennedy. North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and Sen. Kay Hagan were also expected to attend.

Elizabeth Edwards was an attorney but she and her lawyer husband both quit practicing law 14 years ago, upon the death of their teenage son in a car accident.  They turned their attention to politics and public service.

Services were held at the Edenton United Methodist Church, where Edwards turned for support after her son's death.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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