BOISE -- Many people gathered to remember the life and legacy of one of Idaho's former leaders on Friday.

Former Idaho Governor John Evans passed away on Tuesday, and on Friday, he lay in state in the middle of the rotunda at the Capitol building.

For several hours, former governors, elected officials, family and friends stopped by to pay their respects.

About 50 family members were there, along with those who served our state with him

Behind an honor guard escort, the body of John Evans was brought inside the place where he served as governor for 10 years.

His many family members stood by, celebrating his life and his dedication to the state.

Thirty-eight years of service to Idaho, 10 years, third longest-running governor history. That's quite a legacy and we're sure proud of him, said his son, John Evans Jr.

Many friends and those who worked with Evans came to honor him, like his assistant for both terms, Christine Peck.

Such a gentle giant, and such a tremendous asset to the state. His entire life was dedicated to Idaho and we are better for it, said Peck.

Also, John Watts, a man who met Evans as a student, and says Evans served as his mentor, and gave him his start in the political field. He even served on Evans' campaign in 1978, and left the pin on his casket Friday.

Accommodating, caring, willing to give people he doesn't even know a start, said Watts.

Those here Friday say his contributions to Idaho are immeasurable, but say most of all; he improved the state's education system, and led Idaho during tough economic times.

In the right and that difficult environment, he built a coalition and passed sales tax to continue funding education and government to keep it going. That's heavy stuff and he was able to do it, said Watts.

He started his political career at just 27-years-old, serving as a senator, a mayor, and a democratic governor, also the only elected Mormon governor in Idaho's history.

Those who knew Evans say he was committed to his family and his fellow Idahoans.

All of us who knew him on a personal level have such a feeling of loss for a very long time , said Peck.

Evans was born in Malad, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After his time in office as governor, he was president of his family-owned bank, D.L. Evans Bank, in Burley.

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