Thousands honor long-time Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton

LEXINGTON, Mo. - Thousands of people came to pay their respects to the former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton.

Services were held at the Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., on Monday.

Skelton passed away October 28, at a hospital in Virginia. He was 81 years old.

Those who attended Monday's service included current and past members of Congress, including Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Senator Claire McCaskill, and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II.

Cleaver said Skelton was a friend to everyone.

"Missouri and the nation come to pay their respects to the gentleman from Lexington," Cleaver said during the eulogy. "He was just a regular guy that led a substantial, wonderful life."

Skelton, a Democrat, won his first seat in Congress back in 1976. He remained in Congress until 2010 when he lost his run for an 18th term to Republican Vicky Hartzler.

Skelton never served in the military, but he became a champion of the armed services during his 34 years as a representative from the 4th Congressional District. There he served as a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Rev. Everett Hannon reiterated how Skelton was a friend to all.

He also shared a story about how Skelton would worship in Lexington at the Reverend's church when he wasn't in Washington D.C. 

A private graveside burial, with full military rites, took place at the Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington.

Click here to read Skelton's obituary.

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