Cronkite Eulogized As Newsman, Friend, Father - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cronkite Eulogized As Newsman, Friend, Father

Posted: Updated:

NEW YORK (AP) - Walter Cronkite was remembered as a great newsman, sailor, friend and father during Thursday's funeral for the CBS anchor.

"I was often asked, what he's really like? And I would always answer, 'He's just the way you hope he is,'" said Mike Ashford, a Cronkite friend of more than 30 years and one of the speakers.

Another speaker, longtime CBS newsman and "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney, recalled meeting Cronkite when they both were in England covering World War II.

"You get to know someone pretty well in a war," said Rooney.

"I just feel so terrible about Walter's death that I can hardly say anything," he admitted, and excused himself.

The remarkably intimate, even homey ceremony was witnessed by a near-capacity crowd at the enormous St. Bartholomew's Church in midtown Manhattan, where the Cronkite family has worshipped for years.

Broadcast journalists - co-workers, competitors, successors - were on hand, including Connie Chung, Bob Schieffer, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Charles Gibson, Matt Lauer, Tom Brokaw, Morley Safer and Meredith Vieira. Comedians-actors Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller were also in attendance.

But there was also room for members of the public to pay their respects.

James Huntsburg and his wife, Sylvia, visiting from Canada, had heard about the ceremony. Admitted to the sanctuary, they took their place in one of the pews.

Huntsburg said he grew up watching Cronkite, who, he said, "touched me."

When he heard of Cronkite's death last Friday at 92, Huntsburg and his wife hadn't yet left from their home near Toronto for their Manhattan vacation.

"I feel blessed to be here," he said, visibly moved.

For his reporting, Cronkite came to be called "the most trusted man in America" and was widely considered the premier TV journalist of his time. He anchored "The CBS Evening News" from 1962 until 1981.

Before the service, admirers lingered outside the church where news vans lined the curb.

Flowers arrived from Yoko Ono, who wrote: "Walter, my son Sean and I will always remember you! for your kind word to us. You will be missed. With love, Yoko Ono Lennon."

During the service, St. Bartholomew's Choir sang. A jazz band played "When the Saints Go Marching In."

And Cronkite friend (and veteran TV producer) Bill Harbach read the John Masefield poem, addressing it to Cronkite: "YOU must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky ..."

Sanford Socolow shared anecdotes from his many years working with Cronkite as a producer.

"Once, he had this bizarre idea that he would ad-lib the newscast without a script," Socolow recalled. As Cronkite's cue to roll each film clip, he would gently brush his nose with his hand.

"It was utter chaos," said Socolow. "It lasted for two days."

Chip Cronkite affectionately gave thanks to his father for many things.

"Thanks for rushing to the side of the boat when a boom knocked me overboard. You stood there ready to jump in after me, and then were glad you didn't have to. Thanks for getting ready to take out my appendix yourself with a sharpened spoon on the African plains two days' drive for a hospital. That time I was glad you didn't have to."

A separate memorial will be held within the next few weeks at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Cronkite is to be cremated and his remains buried next to his wife, Betsy, in the family plot at a cemetery in Kansas City, Mo.

___

Associated Press Writer Marcus Franklin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Fox-Comcast battle to buy Sky to be settled by auction in UK

    Fox-Comcast battle to buy Sky to be settled by auction in UK

    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:28 AM EDT2018-09-20 09:28:17 GMT
    Sunday, September 23 2018 7:40 AM EDT2018-09-23 11:40:29 GMT
    British regulators say that the corporate battle between 21st Century Fox and Comcast to take over broadcaster Sky will be settled by auction. 
    British regulators say that the corporate battle between 21st Century Fox and Comcast to take over broadcaster Sky will be settled by auction. 
  • Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence, immigration in videos

    Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence, immigration in videos

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:20 AM EDT2018-09-21 04:20:00 GMT
    Sunday, September 23 2018 6:45 AM EDT2018-09-23 10:45:47 GMT
    (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this June 30, 2018 file photo, Taboo from Black Eyed Peas performs "Where is the Love?" at the "Families Belong Together: Freedom for Immigrants" March in Los Angeles. The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun...(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this June 30, 2018 file photo, Taboo from Black Eyed Peas performs "Where is the Love?" at the "Families Belong Together: Freedom for Immigrants" March in Los Angeles. The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun...
    The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence at schools and immigration in two new music videos for their song "Big Love". 
    The Black Eyed Peas tackle gun violence at schools and immigration in two new music videos for their song "Big Love". 
  • Rock On: Michelle Obama book tour is reaching high

    Rock On: Michelle Obama book tour is reaching high

    Friday, September 21 2018 3:00 PM EDT2018-09-21 19:00:12 GMT
    Sunday, September 23 2018 6:45 AM EDT2018-09-23 10:45:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). FILE - In this June 22, 2018 file photo, former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans. Obama is launching a book tour to promote her memoir "Becoming," a tour fe...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). FILE - In this June 22, 2018 file photo, former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans. Obama is launching a book tour to promote her memoir "Becoming," a tour fe...
    There has never been a book tour quite like the one planned for Michelle Obama's "Becoming.". 
    There has never been a book tour quite like the one planned for Michelle Obama's "Becoming.". 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.