U.S. flags on all state government buildings will be flown at half staff from today through Saturday at sunset
Governor Bryant's office has issued this order:
All flags of the U.S. and state of Mississippi will be flown at half-staff on all buildings and grounds of the state of Mississippi and all areas under its jurisdiction beginning at sunrise Friday, December 6, 2013 and ending at sunset on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Former Governor Bill Allain's body lay in repose Friday in the state capitol rotunda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. . A memorial service was held at three.
Family said Allain wouldn't have cared for all the pomp and circumstance.
"We are very private and we just know this is how it has to be today. So we'll share him with the rest of the city, the state and everybody else," explained Allain's niece Charlene Combest.
While the family usually didn't talk politics at home, his political legacy is lasting at the state capitol.
"His separation of powers lawsuit and his belief that the legislature should not run the executive branch of government, actually gave the executive branch the power that it has today," said former Governor Ronnie Musgrove-D.
Several friends, including former Governor William Winter-D, pointed to Allain's tenacity.
"In his way, did some very courageous things. Bill Allain was a true friend of the common man, the average citizen and he wanted to see everybody get an honest break from government," Winter said.
Away from the spotlight of the office, Allain spent time serving at shelters on the holidays.
"He never took himself too seriously and remembered that the most important thing for him was being a public servant. And I think that's a lesson we all still maintain, particularly this time of year," described Governor Phil Bryant.
Even those who served him later in life, as caregivers, are remembering his giving spirit.
"As I got to know him, he was just like a history book to me. He kept up and he would always tell us about the things that went on in the past. And he would say J. J., you need a tape recorder cause this is history that I'm telling you," remembered caregiver Jeanette Jackson.
It's a history that includes the private man who went against the status quo in public office.
"Lord, bless this great man and let him know right now how much we love him and lord we thank you for sending him our way," prayed Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District Brandon Presley.
Governor Allain's funeral will be held Saturday in Natchez. He'll be buried in a one person mausoleum in the Natchez city cemetery
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