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Published: Tuesday, 9/11/2007

Paul Gillmor remembered at Statehouse service Tuesday


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The name of U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor joins a select list of people chosen to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

Hundreds of mourners were expected to pay final respects Tuesday to Gillmor, a Republican known for his quiet, low-key approach who spent four decades in politics, including nearly 20 years in Congress. He was found dead in his apartment in suburban Washington last week.

Only six other people, including President Abraham Lincoln, have lain in state in the Rotunda, the highest Statehouse honor. The first was for arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane in 1857, while the building was under construction. The last time was in 2001 for four-term Gov. James A. Rhodes.

A memorial service for Gillmor, 68, was set to follow the viewing in the adjacent Atrium. Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat who served with Gillmor in the U.S. House for 12 years, was among those expected to speak.

A medical examiner's report released Friday in Virginia said Gillmor died of blunt head and neck trauma consistent with a fall down stairs. The death was certified as an accident.

Gillmor was elected to Congress in 1988 after serving in the Ohio Senate since 1967. He was Senate president from 1981-83 and 1985-89.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday in Tiffin, followed by a memorial service and private burial in Gillmor's hometown of Old Fort. Gillmor is survived by his wife, Karen, and five children.

Under Ohio law, Strickland must call a special election to replace Gillmor. No date has yet been set.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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