Mourners gather to remember former US Rep. Skelton -

Mourners gather to remember former US Rep. Skelton

LEXINGTON, Mo. (AP) -- Military leaders and elected officials are gathering with friends and family to mourn former Missouri congressman Ike Skelton.

The crowd at Skelton's funeral Monday in his rural hometown of Lexington was representative of the mark he left both upon the nation's military and the people of Missouri.

Skelton died a week ago of complications from pneumonia. He was 81.

He served in the U.S. House for 34 years before losing re-election in 2010. Skelton served as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and is widely credited with helping build up Missouri's military installations of Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base.

Missouri congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Methodist pastor, was delivering the remarks at Skelton's funeral.

Gov. Jay Nixon ordered flags to half-staff in honor of Skelton.

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