NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A three day period of public and private morning for Tom Benson culminated Friday with his funeral at St. Louis Cathedral. Hundreds of people turned out for the send off inside and outside of the church.
Benson's casket was taken away from St Louis Cathedral around 1:30 p.m. after the funeral attended by notables from across the country.
It was a funeral fit for a man who was born under modest circumstances in New Orleans and rose to become the richest man in the state. NFL and NBA owners from across the country joined by some of the biggest names in New Orleans sports including Drew Brees, Anthony Davis and the recently retired Zack Streif.
But while hundreds filed into the cathedral many hundreds more watch from outside
All came to pay final tribute to a man who owned and shaped two sports franchises which in turn helped shape the city.
"It's friends and family. It's an honor to be part of this," said Saints Vice President Mike Stanfield. He served as a pallbearer.
Former players of all stature were at the service, from Hall of Famer Willie Roaf to "The Beer Man" Michael Lewis.
"Mr. Benson gave me my first opportunity to come home, and when I retired I worked six more years in the front office, and see what he meant to the city," Lewis said.
After the 90 minute funeral service inside the church, a send off like only New Orleans can do, funeralgoers second lined four blocks through the French Quarter to the Ursuline Convent for the repass.
Benson was laid to rest at Metairie Cemetery.
All this week former Saints players and lifelong friends have shared their memories of Benson.
Benson passed away last Thursday after a weeks-long battle with the flu.
Community members, city leaders, and NFL greats have been honoring Benson during his two-day public visitation.
Thursday several different NFL owners were also at Notre Dame Seminary.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver were in attendance at the funeral.
Governor John Bel Edwards and Former Governor Bobby Jindal attended as well.
Some of those notable figures had a chance to attend a private visitation service Thursday night.