Hundreds Mourn State Health Director at Service

MARCH 23, 2005 - Posted at 3:45 p.m. CST

SPRINGDALE, AR - Hundreds of mourners paid their respects this morning at the funeral service for Arkansas Health Department director Dr. Fay Boozman.

Governor Huckabee was among the ministers speaking at the service at the First Baptist Church of Springdale.  Huckabee and Boozman were friends, and the governor said he often told his friend that he was too good to be involved in politics.  But Huckabee said he is glad that Boozman was in public life, calling him a "light in a land of darkness."

Boozman died Saturday in an accident at his farm near Rogers.

Huckabee also said the University of Arkansas System board of trustees will name the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences after Boozman.

Boozman was among the leaders instrumental in forming the college.  Huckabee says the trustees will formalize that name change when the board meets April 22.

Little Rock employees of the Health Department and others were able to watch the funeral on a remote video link that was set up for them in the capital city.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)