The First United Methodist Church in downtown Houston was filled with family and friends of Enron founder Ken Lay. Among the attendees were former President George Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker and Astros owner Drayton McLane. Former Mayor Bob Lanier also arrived at the church, but was taken to the hospital before the service began. He collapsed as he was taking his seat. A Saint Luke’s spokesperson says Lanier is in stable condition, but will remain in the hospital for three days.The service was delayed while Lanier was attended too. Houston Public Radio’s Capella Tucker has more on the service.
Houston police officers were stationed on every corner and secret service were present also. The media were lined up across the street as family and friends of Enron founder Ken Lay arrived to pay their respects. The program for the service included a picture of Lay and his wife surrounded by grand-children. Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Reverend Bill Lawson spoke at the service in Aspen and the one today in Houston.
“It was a long service, but it was a very emotional service. And I think it was very affirming for Ken Lay and I think it comforted his family a great deal, especially this many people coming out.”
It was a time for friends to recall memories. Tony Arnold remembers dinners in Aspen.
“He could order some great wines, I can tell you that. And they were so generous and kind to everyone. And that was emphasized today that he touched all classes of people, his goodness, his generosity.”
His generosity included helping other business people. Renard Euell (you-ll) chairs an energy company and credits Lay with helping his company expand from domestic to international business.
“I think there’s a peace if you will that he’s gone and no one’s going to be able to kick him around any longer. I think that’s very crucial and very important. And a lot of people know that he was lack of a better work was a scapegoat for a lot of folks and got charged with things that he didn’t do.”
Lay’s attorney Mike Ramsey remembers his client always being concerned about others. Ramsay says the service was wonderful.
“Look I can tell you something about Ken Lay that in a work captures the man: In the midst of the pressures of trial when my health failed, Ken Lay was worried about me, not about himself.”
Following the service a private reception was held at the River Oaks Country Club. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.