PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) - [if gte mso 9]>
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Hundreds gathered for the funeral mass at a small church in Pine Mountain, including News Leader 9's Tyrone McCoy.
Hundreds filed into Christ the King Catholic Church in Pine Mountain to remember the former U.S. Army Secretary, Congressman, and one of the founders of the 14,000-acre Callaway Gardens and resort.
We're told the church seats 500 and was filled to capacity with people showing their respects for a man who state leaders say is responsible for the current structure of the Republican Party, a memory many say they'll cherish.
"Bo Callaway personified being a patriot and a citizen, I think, his entire life," said Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives. "From service in the U.S. Army and the Korean War, to developing Callaway Gardens, to the work he did as the first Republican Congressman."
Callaway is known for these services and will be remembered for them nationwide. A long-time friend of Callaway's, Representative Joe Wilkinson, says he'll remember something very few people know about Callaway – his sense of humor.
"He and I had a great relationship," said Rep. Wilkinson. "But I think he could appear to be so formal, yet he could be so much fun."
Both Wilkinson and Gingrich agree Callaway loved his country, but more than that they say he loved his family, and they say they wanted to return some of that love today.
"He paved the road, he helped me personally," Gingrich said. "He was right at the heart of planning."
Callaway is survived by five children and 16 grandchildren, but leaves behind a legacy like no other according to those at the service.
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