WEST VALLEY CITY Ed Mayne always looked out for the little guy, his family and friends recalled Friday at services for the late state senator and longtime labor leader.
"My dad was a man of the people," Mayne's son, Paul, told the nearly 1,000 people including political and union leaders gathered in the lofty hall of West Valley's Cultural Celebration Center.
The prayers of the AFL-CIO president and influential Democrat always ended with a special blessing for the unemployed, the homeless and others in need, Paul said, describing his father as a man who also enjoyed a trip to Wendover to play the slot machines.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a Republican, praised Mayne for focusing as a lawmaker on issues aimed at lifting, promoting, healing and offering hope "to the corners of the community that need it most."
Better known as "Eddie," Mayne, 62, died of cancer Sunday at his West Valley home, surrounded by his family. He had served as a state senator since 1994 and was assistant minority whip.
Blaze Wharton, a former state senator who first met Mayne 30 years ago, said he "never disregarded or dismissed anyone." And although Wharton said he counted his close relationship with Mayne as one of the most important in his life, it was not unique.
Mayne's daughter, Jamie Jennings, tearfully recited the lyrics to her father's favorite song, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," and said he was always willing to help someone out. "Nothing was too much for him. ... He always did it with open arms."Mayne was buried at Valley View Memorial Park in West Valley City. A fund-raiser intended to benefit his family as well as other cancer patients will be held next Tuesday and will include tributes from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and others.