ATLANTA (AP) — Hundreds of friends and family grieved Friday at a memorial for former White House aide Hamilton Jordan, and President Jimmy Carter said he would miss his right-hand man for the rest of his life.

Jordan, 63, died Tuesday at his Atlanta home. His battle with cancer began 22 years ago.

"I loved Hamilton like my own son," Carter said to a standing-room only crowd of more than 500 at the Carter Center auditorium.

Carter said his chief of staff was a "driving force behind the Panama Canal treaty, the Middle East peace process, the safe return of our hostages from Iran and every other good thing that we ever accomplished or attempted while in Washington."

Jordan "was as gentle and courageous and compassionate as anyone I have ever known," Carter said.

The service was interspersed with levity as Jordan's friends and family recounted his love of humor, even while fighting six forms of cancer that included lymphoma, melanoma and prostate cancer