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Paul Cellucci memorial, funeral scheduled

Paul Cellucci

Wendy Maeda/Globe staff/File 2011

Paul Cellucci

Argeo Paul Cellucci, the former governor of Massachusetts and ambassador to Canada who died Saturday after a five-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, will be honored at the State House on Thursday and laid to rest on Friday.

A viewing and memorial service for Cellucci, who was 65, is scheduled to be held at the State House, followed by a public funeral Mass in his hometown of Hudson, officials announced.

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Cellucci, who served as governor from 1997 to 2001, will lie in repose in the Hall of Flags Rotunda at the State House for a public viewing from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

A motorcade followed by a formal procession up the front steps of the State House just after noon will precede an invitation-only memorial in the chamber of the House of Representatives. That service, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., will be live-streamed, officials said. The public viewing will follow.

A number of current and former dignitaries are expected to speak at the State House service, according to Edward Keohane, a spokesman for University of Massachusetts Medical School who is working with the Cellucci family.

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He said Governor Deval Patrick; former governors William F. Weld and Jane M. Swift; House Speaker Robert DeLeo; Senate president Therese Murray; Andrew Card, the former White House chief of staff; and others, including a representative of the Canadian government, are expected to speak.

Keohane said the pallbearers for the State House ceremony would be State Police troopers, at the request of the Cellucci family. The color guard on Friday is expected to be composed of officers from the State Police, the Hudson Police Department, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

‘We have lost a good and patriotic American.’ — Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts

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On Friday, a public funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in Hudson. A private burial will follow the Mass.

Meanwhile, tributes to Cellucci continued Sunday from Democrats and Republicans.

“We have lost a good and patriotic American. Governor Paul Cellucci served the Commonwealth and the nation with honor and integrity,” former governor Mitt Romney said in a statement. “His service was done quietly, without self-aggrandizement, and without rancor for the opposition party. He was an example to us all.”

“The Commonwealth has lost a great man and an outstanding leader,” Senate president Murray, a Plymouth Democrat, said in a statement. “Paul Cellucci dedicated his life to helping people in need, improving our communities and making Massachusetts a better place for all.”

“Paul Cellucci was a tireless fighter in every sense of the word,” said US Representative Niki Tsongas in a statement. “During over three decades of public service, Paul fought for Massachusetts families and never lost that personal touch he gained from growing up in the Commonwealth.”

On Saturday, Governor Patrick, Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Secretary of State John Kerry, former presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, and other officials praised Cellucci.

“Massachusetts lost a favored son and devoted public servant,” Patrick said in a statement. “A lawyer, legislator, governor, and diplomat, Paul Cellucci was also a kind man and a friend.”

“This son of Hudson, Massachusetts, was a close and loyal friend, a superb public servant, and a devoted family man,” the former presidents said in a joint statement, “and our admiration for the way he served throughout his life, and fought a dreaded disease at the end, knows no bounds.”

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.
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