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Former Gov. George Leader recalled as caring, innovative

Published On: May 16 2013 05:00:10 PM CDT

Former Gov. George Leader was remembered at his funeral as an innovative governor and a compassionate man.

HERSHEY, Pa. -

Former Gov. George Leader was remembered at his funeral as an innovative governor and a compassionate man.

Leader's three children delivered testimonials to their father during a 90-minute service that opened with the singing of "We Shall Overcome" and concluded with the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Gov. Tom Corbett and former governors Ed Rendell, Tom Ridge and Dick Thornburgh were among the mourners at the 90-minute service at Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey. A reception at Hershey Country Club was planned afterward.

Leader was 95 when he died a week ago following a brief illness.

As governor from 1955 to 1959, he fought to clean up state government and made special education a requirement in Pennsylvania schools. Later, he became a success in the nursing home business.