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In praise of compromise and civility

President Obama speaks at the memorial service for Tom Foley.

WASHINGTON – In a service that contrasted the state of today’s Congress with the House Tom Foley left nearly two decades ago, past and current leaders extolled the former Spokane speaker’s ability to see another person’s point of view, compromise and get things done.

Republicans as well as Democrats praised the late congressman and ambassador, repeating stories he shared or advice he gave about honoring public service. And one leader who acknowledged he didn’t know Foley personally but admired his reputation said it was time to emulate him.

“Now, more than ever, America needs public servants who are willing to place problem-solving ahead of politics,” President Barack Obama said.

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Foley Spokane memorial set for Nov. 1

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A memorial for Tom Foley, former speaker of the House and U.S. ambassador to Japan, will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 1 at St. Aloysius Church on the Gonzaga University campus.

Foley, a Spokane native who served 30 years in the House, died last Friday in Washington, D.C., of complications of a stroke.

The Spokane service will be the second memorial next week for Foley. A service in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol is planned for Tuesday afternoon.