Celebrating the life of former Gov. Phil Hoff

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BURLINGTON, Vt. A celebration of the life of former Vermont Governor Phil Hoff.

“He not only brought fundamental changes to the state of Vermont in terms of economic and social racial justice, he was decades and decades ahead of his time,” said Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders says former Vermont Governor Phil Hoff was one of the greatest and most trans-formative Vermont governor's in his lifetime.

Hoff passed away peacefully at his home in Shelburne in April. Saturday at his funeral, Hoff was honored by family, friends and colleagues at a ceremony held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington.

“He liked to just help, and be engaged and do things,” said Congressman Peter Welch

Welch remembered Hoff's sense of humor and says he helped all democrats along the way. Hoff even helped start the careers of many Vermont politicians, including Senator Patrick Leahy.

“When he asked me to be State's Attorney -- I couldn't say no,” said Senator Leahy.

Leahy remembers sitting in meetings with Hoff, speaking about ideas and policies he had in mind.

“People said, you know if you do that, it will hurt you politically. He said, I know that. But it is the right thing to do. And I would do it. I wish more people in both parties would feel that way today,” Leahy said.

Hoff was a guiding force for Vermont Democrats. He was the first Democrat elected governor in more than a century. Many say his election in 1962, turned Vermont from one of the most conservative states to one of the most liberal.

“This was a truly great Vermonter,” said Senator Sanders.

A great Vermonter -- whose legacy lives on through the leaders of today.