Late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka was remembered Wednesday as a tough, honest leader with a signature sense of humor.
Crowds filled the Operating Engineers' Local 150 headquarters in Countryside to pay respects. Individuals included the state's top leaders, lawmakers, local leaders and Illinoisans who knew her for more than 70 years.
Gov. Pat Quinn said Topinka took on tough challenges in life. She was also a former state treasurer, GOP head and lawmaker.
Portraits of Topinka lined an entrance, along with photos of past campaigns, her family and dogs.
Former Gov. Jim Thompson said Topinka would have appreciated the bipartisan crowd gathered at the memorial.
And Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner drew laughter when he remarked that Topinka would be surprised to see him standing in a union hall.
Topinka died unexpectedly last week at the age of 70 after suffering complications from a stroke. Her passing came just weeks after she was elected to a second term.
Spokesman Brad Hahn said that while Topinka "made it very clear she didn't want a funeral or a wake" she included a stipulation in the legal document that her family and friends could hold a memorial service for her following her cremation.