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Percy remembered as family man, politician who led by example

Updated: November 10, 2011 12:11PM

The late U.S. Sen. Charles Percy led by example, family, friends and political colleagues said.

“His determination — to overcome odds, to help others, to persuade decision makers to actions he believed were important — showed us how much can be achieved through the inspiration of a single man,” Percy’s son-in-law, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), said in a statement. “He led by example with his self-confidence, relishing the company of people who challenged and informed his thinking.
. . . He taught us humility and respectfulness. . . . He taught us generosity. . . . He taught us how powerful unconditional love can be.”

As news of his death spread, tributes flowed from his Illinois colleagues and friends.

“Chuck Percy was a political opponent in the Douglas and Simon campaigns but always a friend. . . . In the closing days of that contest, both men showed a humanity and a respect which should be recalled in this era of venomous personal attacks and wild charges,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, calling Percy “a man who was always viewed as honorable and honest in his representation of our state.”

Former Illinois Gov. James Thompson described the late senator as “a classic example of what a public official should be,” saying Percy was unquestionably a Republican party member and promoter but knew how to work with Democrats and independents, too.

Percy’s “brand of moderate fiscal conservatism will be missed,” said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

Contributing: AP

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