The man many Alaskans came to know as "Uncle Ted" served longer in the U.S. Senate than any other Republican in history.
“My motto has always been here, to hell with politics. Let's do what's right for Alaska. And I've tried every day to live up to those words,” former-Sen. Ted Stevens said on the Senate floor.
On August 9th Stevens was enjoying life after the Senate aboard a small plane during a fishing trip near the small town of Dillingham when the unthinkable happened.
The small plane crashed about 17 miles outside of Dillingham.
The crash left Stevens dead along with four others including the pilot.
In one of the largest memorial services in Alaska history, hundreds paid their respects to Stevens.
"We love to have the opportunity to say goodbye to a man we love and respect and wish him well on this journey,” said one mourner.
Among the dignitaries that arrived was Vice President Joe Biden.
“Everyone who goes there brings something of a piece of their state, but Ted Stevens, unlike any other man or woman with whom I served, was his state,” said Biden.
Longtime friend Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii spoke about the first time Stevens talked about Alaska's untapped oil riches.
“We got to find a way to bring it down here so we can sell it. I said, ‘how do you propose to do that?’ He said, ‘I'm going to build a pipeline.’ I said, ‘you're nuts!’ said Inouye.
Stevens left an indelible mark on all things Alaska, memories and a legacy that all Alaskans benefit from today.