Askew services set; Cabinet and Legislature will adjust schedule
Floridians will have three opportunities next week to pay final respects to former Gov. Reubin Askew, who died Thursday at age 85.
Escorted by a military honor guard, Askew will lie in state at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. It was in that historic building where Askew served 12 years as a legislator and for most of his eight years as governor (during Askew's second term, the state opened the "new" 22-story Capitol).
The last governor to lie in state at the Old Capitol was Claude Kirk, who died in 2011. He served from 1967 to 1971 and was defeated by Askew when he sought re-election.
A memorial service for Askew will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Faith Presbyterian Church, 2200 North Meridian Rd., Tallahassee. Gov. Rick Scott will attend and some if not all of the six living former governors are also expected. A spokesman for the Askew family, Jon Peck, said the list of eulogists at the service has not yet been finalized. The church has seating for about 750 people.
On Friday, a public graveyard service with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Central Time at Bayview Memorial Park, 3351 Scenic Highway (US 90 East) in Pensacola, where Askew grew up.
Scott and the Cabinet have a regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Plans are underway to interrupt the meeting so that Scott and the three Cabinet members can be present when Askew's body arrives at the Old Capitol.
"It's almost as if the entire state is taking a pause," said George Sheldon, who worked as a legislative aide to Askew in the Senate and the governor's office.
The Legislature is altering its schedule in recognition of the services for the state's 37th governor. The House will hold a Wednesday session from 5 to 7 p.m., several hours later than usual. The Senate has also shifted some committee meeting times to avoid conflicting with Wednesday's memorial service, and senators received a memorandum Friday on plans to offer shuttle service from the Capitol to the church.