SANTA FE (KRQE) - Family and friends of the late Gov. David Cargo said their final goodbyes Friday.
The former New Mexico governor was remembered at a funeral Mass at Santa Fe's Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and then buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
One final time, family and friends gather to remember a man who influenced their lives and the lives of countless New Mexicans.
"Dave Cargo loved people, and he especially loved the people of New Mexico. But he loved all people," friend and former business partner Mark Murphy said.
Turner Branch was one of his pallbearers. Branch helped Cargo during his campaign for governor, and the two have known each other for decades.
"He'll be greatly missed. I loved David, and I'll miss him greatly," Branch said.
A little more than an hour later, the crowd gathered outside to reminisce about "Lonesome Dave."
"He always had a smile on his face and he was always so upbeat," Murphy said. "I never saw him down about anything."
Cargo's sister-in-law says he was quick to dedicate himself to New Mexico after getting married.
"His wife was a big part of that because she was the New Mexican," he said.
"Our family had been in New Mexico for 500 years, and so we have deep roots," Maria Anaya Rutkowsky said. "His legacy is the fact that he really tapped into that."
After the church service, pallbearers took the flag-draped casket back to the hearse for one last drive, a procession to the Santa Fe National Cemetery, where a smaller crowd said their final goodbyes.
Tthe maverick politician may be gone, but he's not forgotten.
"I think he had a tremendous impact, and I think it's felt to this day," Murphy said.
Cargo is credited for strengthening the film industry here in New Mexico by organizing the nation's first state film commission. The politician even made a few cameos while in office. In 1969, he made an appearance in the western "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys." Then, in 1972, he appeared in "Bunny O'Hare."
Cargo is survived by his brother, five children and five grandchildren.
He earned the nickname "Lonesome Dave" during his first successful run for governor in 1966. As a political outsider with virtually no support from the Republican establish, he campaigned alone driving himself around the state.
He was reelected in 1968 with term limits preventing a third run for the office.
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