WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Hundreds waited for hours Saturday to get through tight security to attend the funeral service for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.
Politicians, for sure, but just plain folk as well.
Most were neighbors, friends or associates of the Biden family. And then there were a few of Beau Biden’s fraternity brothers from the days at Penn.
Milton Lee says Beau was remarkable, in some ways, for what he didn’t do. Like drink. But that wasn’t really a surprise.
“He was a wonderful guy with tremendous energy and innocence. He always made you feel good. That’s a unique character we are really going to miss.”
Family friend, Fred McCarthy, remembers the way Beau conducted himself in public and private.
“It goes to show that it can be done. People can enter politics, be honest and kind and make it. And it’s just a very tragic loss.”
Those traits, most people believe, he learned from his father.
Vice President Joe Biden had often been called on to deliver eulogies because his personal losses have given him a skill for comforting others– but for his own son’s funeral, Biden asked the president to speak.
President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church.
Obama said of Beau, “He would live a life of meaning. He would live a life for others.”
He continued, “Anyone can make a name for themselves in this age, but to make it mean something, that is rare.”
President Obama later turned to the Biden family and said, “Beau lives on in the lives of others… Isn’t that the whole point of our time here? To make this country we love fair and more just for every child. Isn’t that what this amazing journey we’ve been on all about? To make life better for the next generation? Beau figured that out so early in life. What an example he set.”
PHOTOS: Remembering Beau Biden
The surviving Biden children also eulogized their brother, along with General Ray Odierno, who was chief of command in Iraq when Beau Biden was deployed there.
Ashley said of her brother, “When I was in first grade I drew a picture of what made me happy and it was a picture of me holding hands with my brothers. It said ‘happiness is being with my brothers.’ It was true then and it is true now.”
She added, “Beau loved life and never complained, with one exception. There was nothing he disliked more than people worrying about him. He selflessly took on everyone else’s worries and had a ‘we will get through this’ attitude.”
Hunter Biden said of Beau, “He never stopped telling me he loved me, but my hand wasn’t the only hand he held. Beau’s hand was the hand everyone reached for in a time of need. Beau’s hand was reaching for yours before you even had to ask. That is his story.”
He added, “He was the best friend any of us ever had… The most important thing in your world was the most important in his and it was genuine. Every decision he made was made with that same selflessness.”
The church added portable seats for the crowd to pay their final respects.
Beau was a two term attorney general and was expected to make a gubernatorial run. Most recalled his activism for crime victims and children and his open friendly nature, which many believe he got from his dad.
Beau Biden survived the car crash that killed his mother and infant sister when he was three years old, and his initial brain cancer diagnosis three years ago, but succumbed to the disease one week ago at the age of 46.
The funeral Saturday caps three days of public mourning in the Biden family’s hometown of Wilmington.