SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Dozens of loved ones, supporters, and admirers gathered to honor the memory of former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson who was lying in state at the Capitol.

“I will remember him first and foremost as a great human being. He was a dear friend, and he was a mentor,” said Juan Massey, friend and deputy director of the Organized Crime Commission. 

It was an emotional day as colleagues and loved ones lined up to say goodbye to a friend.

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda. For some, it brought up tears. For others, they said they want to remember Richardson as the tough and funny leader they knew. 

“He settled for nothing, but you know, just excellence, and that’s what he demanded for us. There was just a marvelous, a wonderful human being underneath that tough leadership that he represented,” said Massey. 

“What I call my boss, my mentor, my friend, my biggest supporter, and all I’ve done throughout my life, he has been instrumental,” stated Ramona Martinez, attorney and friend. 

The two-term governor died in his sleep at the age of 75 on September 1. His friends say that throughout his time as governor, he created a legacy that will always be remembered. “I think he’s leaving a great void in the State of New Mexico. It’s going to be very, very hard. No one’s ever going to be able to fill, you know, his shoes,” expressed Massey. 

A memorial service for Governor Richardson is scheduled for Thursday at the Cathedral Basilica near the Santa Fe Plaza. It will be open to the public starting at 11 in the morning.