Sen. Frank Lautenberg dies - New York News

Funeral service for Sen. Frank Lautenberg

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U.S. Senate portrait U.S. Senate portrait
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

A service was held Wednesday afternoon in Secaucus, N.J. for Senator Frank Lautenberg, who passed away on Monday.

The service followed a late morning funeral in New York City for Lautenberg attended by Vice President Joe Biden and other former colleagues of the Democrat.

The funeral service was held at the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.

Lautenberg, the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the Senate, passed away due to complications from viral pneumonia at 4:02 a.m. at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell.

He was 89.

Lautenberg was first elected in 1982. After retiring once before in 2001, he returned to the U.S. Senate in 2003 after replacing embattled Sen. Bob Torricelli on the ballot.

Lautenberg had health problems in recent years. A bout with the flu caused him to miss the Senate's Jan. 1, 2013, vote to avoid the fiscal cliff of rising taxes and falling government spending.

He had been diagnosed in February 2010 with lymphoma of the stomach and underwent chemotherapy for the next few months.

Earlier this year he announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014.

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a proud New Jerseyan who lived America's promise as a citizen, and fought to keep that promise alive as a senator," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "[H]e improved the lives of countless Americans with his commitment to our nation's health and safety, from improving our public transportation to protecting citizens from gun violence to ensuring that members of our military and their families get the care they deserve."

Republican Gov. Chris Christie will appoint a temporary successor to Lautenberg. Christe and Lautenberg seldom saw eye-to-eye. In fact, they were known to trade verbal jabs.

"I think the best way to describe Frank Lautenberg in the way he would probably want to be described to all of you today is as a fighter. Senator Lautenberg fought for the things he believed in and sometimes he just fought because he liked to," Christie said. "He always reminded me that he was a kid from Paterson whose father died at a very young age, who served in the military and served his country, and then built a business which he was extraordinarily proud of... and so today is a sad day for the people of New Jersey."

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Senator Lautenberg was born the son of immigrants and grew up poor in Paterson, New Jersey. He enlisted in the military at the age of 18 and served in the Army in Europe during World War II. Upon returning home, he graduated from Columbia University with the help of the G.I. Bill. He joined with two boyhood friends to found Automatic Data Processing (ADP), which today employees 57,000 people worldwide and 4,500 in New Jersey.

Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses, Ellen Lautenberg and Doug Hendel, Nan and Joe Morgart, Josh and Christina Lautenberg, Lisa and Doug Birer, Danielle Englebardt and Stuart Katzoff, Lara Englebardt Metz and Corey Metz; and 13 grandchildren.

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