Cenarrusa lies in state at Idaho Capitol, public welcome until 7 p.m.

The body of former Idaho Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa was carried into the Capitol by an Idaho National Guard honor guard shortly before noon Thursday. The closed casket will remain for public mourning until 7 p.m., on the first floor of the rotunda. Signature books are available.

In a brief ceremony, wreaths were laid by Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter and by Ander Caballero Barturen, the United States delegate of the autonomous Basque government.

Other dignitaries included Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Treasurer Ron Crane, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Controller Brandon Woolf, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Meridian City Councilman Brad Hoaglun, and Sens. Chuck Winder of Boise, Curt McKenzie of Nampa and John Goedde of Coeur d’Alene.

The Rev. Thomas Faucher offered a short prayer of thanksgiving, saying the former sheepman who spent 52 years in state office represents “the essence of what it means to be an Idahoan.”

Faucher will preside at Friday’s funeral, which begins at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Cathedral in Downtown Boise. A vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. John’s.

Cenarrusa, also a former House speaker, died Sunday. He was 95. He will be buried Saturday at 11 a.m. in Bellevue, near where he ran sheep for almost 50 years.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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