CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Family, friends, and colleagues of former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci are mourning his death.
Cellucci died at the age of 65 on Saturday from complications with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Cellucci's race to Governor began in 1990 when he was elected Lt. Governor.
He was elevated to Governor in 1997 when Gov. William Weld resigned.
Gov. Cellucci won reelection in 1998.
He was considered a moderate.
Fiscally conservative, but more middle of the road on social issues.
Here's what a few of his colleagues had to say:
"Despite the reality of the illness which all of Massachusetts watched Paul battle so bravely, this news comes as a shock given how active and vital Paul was right up to the last months. ... I can't help but think of the final high standard Paul set in the way he battled ALS. The twinkle was still there, even from his wheelchair. He didn't withdraw, but rather he began a new chapter as an advocate supporting UMass's research into the very illness that he faced with courage." -- Secretary of State John Kerry.
"This son of Hudson, Massachusetts, was a close and loyal friend, a superb public servant, and a devoted family man -- and our admiration for the way he served throughout his life, and fought a dreaded disease at the end, knows no bounds. Paul was literally the first public official in the Bay State to endorse the first Bush for President campaign back in 1978 ... He capped his career in public service with four sterling years as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada in the second Bush administration." -- Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
"Massachusetts lost a favored son and devoted public servant today. A lawyer, legislator, governor and diplomat, Paul Cellucci was also a kind man and a friend." -- Gov. Deval Patrick.
"Paul Cellucci was a dedicated and understanding public figure who made a great contribution to his country, commonwealth and community. A staunch and well-regarded Republican at the state and national level, Paul was an adroit partisan, but he was able and willing to be bipartisan when it was appropriate. " -- Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.
"Paul Cellucci was a man of integrity who committed his life to public service and working with members of all parties to get things done for the people he served. ... Paul Cellucci was a voice of reason and bi-partisanship in our Commonwealth, and he will be greatly missed." -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
"A gentleman in the true sense of the word, he worked across party lines for the betterment of the country and the Commonwealth. I appreciated his pride in our shared ethnic heritage and was thankful for his role in naming October `Italian American Heritage Month.' He was a good friend. ... We will miss him greatly." -- Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
"Ambassador Cellucci served our nation as a great Governor of Massachusetts and as US Ambassador to Canada. I will always be grateful to him for his kind words of support for me, and will forever appreciate his guidance and wisdom." -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez.
"Paul's long record of public service was consistently defined by grace, integrity and common sense, qualities that are all too scarce in modern politics. Massachusetts has lost a true leader and friend but Paul's legacy lives on through four decades of public policy accomplishments, his research fund to eradicate ALS and the friendships he built over a lifetime of service." -- Jane Swift, Cellucci's lieutenant governor who became the state's first female chief executive when he left to become an ambassador.