Friends, family and colleagues gathered for an emotional memorial for former Gov. Booth Gardner on Saturday.

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire, Congressman Denny Heck and several members of Gardner's family spoke at the memorial at the University of Puget Sound's Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma.

The Rev. David Alger officiated and Gov. Jay Inslee presented flags that were flown at half-staff on the state Capitol campus in Gardner's honor.

Gardner died March 15 at his Tacoma home from complications of Parkinson's disease.

Jack Nettleton, Gardner's oldest grandson, said he knew his grandfather in a way few people do.

He said Booth Gardner was his role model not for what he did, but who he was.

Gov. Jay Inslee said he hopes to accomplish half as much as governor as Booth Gardner did during his time in office.

Booth was many things, said Rep. Denny Heck.

The top three: he was an unwavering advocate for social justice, he was very kind, and he was humble.

We all knew this day would come, we just didn't know it'd be this hard, said former Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Gregoire said Washington continues to be a leader in healthcare reform because of Gardner's leadership.

Gregoire closed by saying, May God bless Booth's family, may God bless our Booth.

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