Hundreds gather to honor Mayor Thomas Menino

It was an emotional scene at the Most Precious Blood Parish in Hyde Park where Thomas Menino grew up.

His widow, Angela, emerged strong, and other family members openly wept after a touching tribute to Boston’s longest serving mayor.

“Mayor Menino had a big heart – big enough to care for all of us. He didn’t believe in old Boston or new Boston, he believed in one Boston,” said Mayor Marty Walsh.

Governor Deval Patrick remembered seeking Menino’s endorsement when he first ran for governor.

“He said no,” Patrick said.

But Menino spent an hour patiently listening to Patrick’s pitch, and his ideas for the future.

“He seemed to make time for everybody, even a political nobody like me,” Patrick said.

“We gather here in the very place where he was baptized,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

It was the toughest ticket in town, and in addition to sports stars like David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, and Celtics legend Bill Russell, there were politicians past and present, including Ray Flynn, who was mayor before Menino in 1993.

“The tradition and the legacy goes on. Tommy Menino’s memory will be forever etched in the city of Boston’s history and mind,” said Flynn.

The mayor’s grandchildren played a big role in his funeral, as they did in his life, and two of his granddaughters offered remembrances.

“Even in the toughest situations for him, he would make a joke to cheer us all up. He always wanted us to have a smile on our face and never to be upset,” said Olivia Fenton.

Menino was laid to rest in a cemetery in Hyde Park.