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Hundreds honor former Gov. Judy Martz at Butte Civic Center - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Hundreds honor former Gov. Judy Martz at Butte Civic Center

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BUTTE - From an Olympian to a trailblazing political leader, the life and legacy of Judy Martz is as expansive and diverse as the terrain of the state she once governed.

“Her legacy is much probably too complicated for me to get my arms around, but I just feel very blessed that I knew her,” said Attorney General Tim Fox.

The Butte Civic Center was packed Saturday with people who knew and admired the woman who served as governor from 2001 to 2005. This Republican from Butte was known for her ability to connect with people.

“Democrats and Republicans could actually work together to try to accomplish good things and Gov. Martz always tried to do that and it made her a special person,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.

As a pioneer in Montana politics, Martz was an inspiration.

“As a someone who has three daughters and three granddaughters, I think the fact that she broke that glass ceiling in terms of being our first woman governor is incredibly important, but she was a force to be reckoned with in every walk of life,” Fox said.

Her former aide Shane Hedges said during the eulogy, “She got up every single day with an impenetrable optimism, a smile that melted hearts and a deep commitment to serving every Montanan. Even if you never believed in Judy Martz, Judy Martz always believed in you.”

The hundreds of people that packed into the Butte Civic Center learned of the numerous accomplishments of Martz, but probably her greatest accomplishment was how much she cared about the people she met.

“What I miss is how deeply she cared for people. You know what, she governed from the heart. That’s how deeply she cared for people,” said former political aide Chuck Butler.

Some say it was her strong spiritual faith that helped her accomplish great things. Her son-in-law said people can learn from her example.

“Do Judy’s best. Because her best led a state, represented her nation and changed people’s lives, so if you get the opportunity, do her best,” said Abe Boomer.

A farewell to a trailblazer. Martz, 74, died Oct. 30th after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

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