NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN/AP) – A public memorial service was held Friday for former United States Senator and Tennessee native Fred Thompson.
The service was held at 10 a.m. at War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville.
Attendees included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator John McCain, Senator Lamar Alexander, and former University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer.
Senator Alexander read scripture and spoke about Senator Thompson.
“God certainly gave generously to Fred Dalton Thompson. And that gift was so special that all Fred had to do in life was play himself, and he did that to his fullest,” he said.
Alexander continued, “Very few people can light up the room the way Fred Thompson did. And the truth is that all of us in public life have always been a little bit jealous of Fred Thompson, because he has always had this special streak of magic in his personality that none of the rest of us have.”
Country music singers John Rich and Lee Greenwood also attended and both sang during the service.
After the ceremony, family and friends traveled to Lawrenceburg for a hometown tribute at Crockett Theater.
The 73-year-old died from complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Thompson was diagnosed with the disease in 2004 and had been in remission before it returned last year.
He is survived by his wife, four children and his grandchildren.
Apart from his political career, Thompson was an accomplished actor, known for his role on “Law and Order.”
Thompson also appeared in at least 20 motion pictures, including “In the Line of Fire,” ”The Hunt for Red October,” ”Die Hard II” and “Cape Fear.”
By the early 90s, Thompson said he had become bored with his 10-year stint in Hollywood and wanted to go into public service.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.