Several hundred people, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, former Gov. Kay Orr and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, gathered in the Cornhusker Marriott hotel ballroom on Tuesday to attend a memorial service celebrating the life of former Gov. Charley Thone, who died in Lincoln last week at the age of 94.
“He touched our lives and he made us better,” State Treasurer Don Stenberg said in delivering one of several tributes.
“What an empty space Charley Thone will leave,” Ruth Thone, his widow, told the crowd.
Photos: Thone through the years
Charles Thone, Ronald Reagan, Ruth Thone
Former Nebraska Gov. Charley Thone, former President Ronald Reagan and Thone’s wife, Ruth, at Civic Auditorium in Omaha during Reagan’s visit to Nebraska in October 1982. Thone died Wednesday at 94.
Ruth Thone, sliding down banister
Ruth Thone, wife of Nebraska Gov. Charley Thone, slides down the banister on the spiral staircase at the governor's mansion. The Thone family moved into the mansion the night before Thone's inauguration.
Governor Charles Thone Family
Thones inauguration applauded by daughters (from left) Mary, Amy, and Ann, joined by First Lady Ruth. January 5, 1979 S.
Gov. Charles and Ruth Thone at his inaugural ball in 1979.
Charley Thone (right) holds a pro-Nixon banner at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.
Former Nebraska Congressman and Governor Charles Thone. During his time in Congress, Thone served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Charley Thone greets Miguel Sauchey, left, and Jim Vitek, center, two high school seniors from Lincoln as they began their internships in Washington D.C. in this April 1976 photo.
The governor's military honor guard stands at attention during the Inaugural Ball for Charles Thone in January 1979.
At the Cotton Bowl
Gov. Charles Thone was one of the many disappointed Nebraska fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2, 1980.
After the snow
Gov. Thone and Sen. Rex Haberman inspect damage from the massive snows in April, 1980.
Thone in helicopter
Thone dons his headset with Russ Spray, left, as the pair take off in St. Joseph's Hospital's Life Flight helicopter.
Charles Thone, Gerald Ford
Former Nebraska Gov. Charles Thone and former President Gerald Ford in 1982. As a member of the House, Thone says he would have consulted Ford before casting a vote on impeaching Nixon had the president not resigned first.
Charles Thone, Ronald Reagan
Former Nebraska Gov. Charles Thone (waving) and President Ronald Reagan during Reagan’s visit to Nebraska in October 1982. Thone says Reagan is the politician he admired most. "He was special," Thone said. "His ability to dramatize issues was remarkable."
Gerald Ford, Charles Thone
President Gerald Ford (right) speaks to a group including Gov. Charles Thone (left) Aug. 20, 1982, at the Governor's Mansion.
Thone Swears In Orr
Governor Charles Thone swears in Kay Orr as the State Treasurer. June 15, 1981. Humberto Ramirez/Lincoln Journal Star.
Charley Thone (right) sits with George H.W. Bush in August 1978.
Bob Kerrey 110
Challenger Bob Kerrey listens while Gov. Charles Thone drives home a point, September 10, 1982
Charles Thone swearing in as Governor of Nebraska. January, 1979. Randy Hampton/Lincoln Journal Star. LJS Library archive photo
Charles Thone and President Gerald Ford
Charles Thone and President Gerald Ford.
Thones in the Governor's Mansion
Gov. Charley Thone and wife Ruthie at the Governor's Mansion on Jan. 5, 1979. Charley Thone died Wednesday at age 94.
NOT STATE BIRD, BUT ADMIRAL BIRD NOW
Nebraska Governor Charles Thone reads the commission appointing Big Bird an Admiral in the mythical Nebraska Navy. Big Bird was in Lincoln for Sesame Street Live! productions.
Governor Charles Thone
Newly inaugurated Gov. Charles Thone gets a hug from his 90-year-old grandmother, Mrs. John A. Thoene [sic], who came from Hartington for the ceremonies. His wife, Ruthie (left), looks on. Jan 5, 1979
Governor Thone and Wife Ruthie Cast Ballots
While a candidate for reelection, Gov. Charles Thone and wife Ruthie cast ballots Tuesday. (May 11, 1982 S)
Charles and Ruth Thone at Inaugural Ball at Pershing Auditorium, January 1979.
Bob Hope, Charles Thone
Comedian Bob Hope (left), Nebraska Gov. Charles Thone and actor and singer Gordon MacRae on Oct. 16, 1982, at the Governor's Mansion.
Hagel, Johanns and Throne
U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (from left), then-Gov. Mike Johanns and former Gov. Charley Thone stand to deliver the Nebraska delegation's votes at the Republic National Convention in New York City in 2004.