Hundreds attend funeral for ND politician LinkBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Mourners praised former North Dakota governor Arthur Link for his passion for the land during Saturday's funeral service in Bismarck, where roses and a shock of wheat adorned the longtime politician's wooden casket.
U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan was among hundreds of people who turned out to remember Link, who died Tuesday at age 96.
Quoting William Shakespeare, Dorgan said: "This man had a good, good heart."
The senator said Link never forgot where he came from. He recalled Link being out in the fields when his neighbor told him across the swollen Antelope Creek he'd been nominated for state Legislature.
Also during Saturday's service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, Clay Jenkinson read a short speech Link prepared for the 1973 meeting of the North Dakota Rural Electric Association.
"We do not want to halt progress," Jenkinson read. "We want to ensure the most efficient and environmentally sound method ... for the benefit of the broadest number of people possible. ... Let those who follow and repopulate the land be able to say our grandparents did their job well."
Link's body laid in state Friday at the North Dakota Capitol. He'll be buried Sunday in Alexander.
He was married to Grace Johnson of Cartwright in 1939. They had five sons. A daughter died of cancer in 1991.
Link was elected to the state House of Representatives from McKenzie County in 1946 and served as a legislator for 23 years. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1970 and served one term before North Dakota lost a seat due to reapportionment.
He became governor in 1973 and served for two four-year terms.