Baker Funeral Being Held In Tennessee Hometown

Baker Funeral Being Held In Tennessee Hometown

CREATED Jul 1, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The funeral for former Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. is getting underway in his rural Tennessee hometown near the Kentucky state line.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will give the eulogy Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville.

Those in attendance include Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Baker died Thursday at age 88.

Mourners paid their respects Monday at the University of Tennessee center in Knoxville that bears his name. People began lining up outside the Baker Center well before the doors opened Monday for visitors to view the flag-draped casket.

Baker was a Republican whose 18-year tenure in the Senate drew accolades from both sides of the aisle. He is known for cutting to the core of the 1973 Watergate hearings when he asked of then-President Richard Nixon: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Baker will be buried next to his first wife, Joy Dirksen Baker, who died of cancer in 1993.

Baker in 1996 married Kansas Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum. It was the first time two people who had served in the Senate had gotten married.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)