House Speaker Ben Lujan, one of the most powerful and longest serving state legislators in New Mexico history, was laid to rest Saturday. Burial took place in Nambe following a funeral Mass at The Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe.
Lujan died of lung cancer shortly before Christmas. He was 77.
The Democrat from Nambe announced his battle with the illness and his planned retirement at the opening of the 2012 legislative session.
He spent half his life as a state lawmaker, winning his first election to the House in 1974. He was known for working tirelessly for veterans, the poor and the elderly.
Earlier this week, hundreds of people paid final respects during a visitation and memorial service at the Capitol Rotunda.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.