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Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, died in a St. Paul hospital Friday after suffering a medical problem Wednesday morning. He was diagnosed with Lou Gerig's Disease in 2010 and his health gradually failed.

Minnesota Sen. Kubly remembered as 'bridge crosser'

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GRANITE FALLS -- An overflow crowd of 530 people filled the Granite Falls Lutheran Church today in Granite Falls to pay their final respects to State Sen. Gary Kubly, who died Friday at age 68.

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The 16-year veteran of the Legislature and Lutheran minister was celebrated as a "bridge crosser" for his ability to bring people of differing views together, and as someone who lived his Christian beliefs.

"He saw his faith following Jesus directly connected to his being a citizen," said Bishop Jon Anderson.

Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem were among office holders from both sides of the political aisle to attend the service along with clergy, family and friends from throughout the state.

Kubly, a member of the DFL Party, served in the House and Senate. He also served as an ordained minister since 1974, mainly in rural parishes in southwestern Minnesota.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Kubly's daughter Erin Rodgers thanked those who gathered to celebrate his life and said their presence was evidence of the tremendous love her father offered.

"The more you give it the more you get it in return. That's how our dad lived," she said.

Kubly died at Regions Hospital in St. Paul after an apparent cardiac event. He had been diagnosed on Dec. 9, 2010, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, and three adult children, Matthew, Andrew and Erin.

The West Central Tribune and the Morris Sun Tribune are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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