Hundreds Pay Respects to "Dub" Riter

"He was always there trying to make things better for other people." -  Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

From the powerful, to everyday East Texans, they gathered to say goodbye and thank you. When they think of Dub Riter, it's the smile that comes to mind, and a heart as big as Texas.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: "He was not only a great man for East Texas, and the University of Texas that he loved so much, but he was a good person, and he's a person that I'll never forget."

He was a University of Texas Regent, leader at his church, and benefactor to the community. While Dub is gone, what he gave will never be forgotten.

Mayor Joey Seeber, Tyler: "He taught us all how to live and how to give and I think that's important to our city."

Sen. John Cornyn: "Dub's going to leave a huge void, but what I appreciated the most about Dub is that he treated everyone the same -- the rich, the powerful and the person on the street."

Hutchison: "He was a genuine gentleman -- someone who loved his family, his community and his state."

Tom Mullins, Tyler Econ. Development Council: "Dub Riter was such an important part of this community for so long."

It was standing room only at First Presbyterian. The pastor says Riter looked at the heart inside everyone... and as a leader based every decision he made on the qualities of the human spirit.

Bob Bruce, Pastor: "He even voted to call me [to become pastor] even though I was a lifelong committed democrat and he's Mr. Republican of Tyler."

No matter. Friends say he was committed to East Texas, and always there for those who needed him.

Hutchison: "He was there in the good times and the bad times, and that's the definition of a friend."