Former Gov. Al Quie lies in state at Capitol ahead of funeral

Gov. Tim Walz ordered flags be lowered to half-staff as former Minnesota governor and congressman Al Quie lies in state at the Minnesota State Capitol on Friday.

Quie was a Republican member of Congress for more than 20 years and the 35th governor of Minnesota. He died at 99 years old on Aug. 19, just one month shy of his 100th birthday. 

To honor the former governor, Walz ordered for all U.S. and Minnesota state flags to fly at half-staff at state buildings beginning at sunrise on Friday, Sept. 8, to sunset on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

"Quie served as Minnesota’s 35th governor from 1979 to 1983, where he worked across the aisle and led with dignity and respect for all," reads the proclamation issued by Gov. Walz. "Quie will leave a strong legacy of bipartisanship and collaborative leadership."

Family members described Quie as a man full of great stories and a strong faith. Before getting into politics, he worked as a farmer and also served as a pilot with the United States Navy Air Corps from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. He later went on to represent Minnesota’s First Congressional District from 1958 to 1979. 

One of his hallmarks was his deep commitment to working across the aisle to get things done, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices. But, Joel Quie, Al Quie’s son, said his father viewed his work to promote education as one of his biggest accomplishments.

"He just loved learning and he was always pushing to get access for learning as low and as young as you can and as small of a class as one can. He always thought that the one-room schoolhouse was great because you had kids teaching kids, and everybody became a teacher," Joel Quie said.

Al Quie’s funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. The service is open to the public.