RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Mourners who attended a viewing of former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms on Monday remembered the conservative champion as the last politician of his kind.

Helms, who died Friday after years of failing health, lay in a closed casket covered with a U.S. flag and flanked by state troopers at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church.

The Republican, who served in the Senate from 1973 to 2003, worshipped there for decades and served as a deacon.