MANDEVILLE, La. — Former St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister was laid to rest Monday, one week after she died at 73 years old. 

Her memorial service was held at her home church in Mandeville, Church of the King. Family, friends, and local and state leaders came together to remember her. 

"My experience with Pat was that she was the original 'Steel Magnolia'. She was sweet as she could be and she was tenacious," U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R) said at her service. 

A longtime leader in the Louisiana Republican party, Brister served two terms as St. Tammany Parish president and two terms on the parish council.

Brister is being remembered for her faith, her love for her family, and her service to her community.

"The word I use to describe Pat the best is one word, service: service to God, service to her family, service to our country, service to our community, and service to her friends," U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey said. 

One of her proudest accomplishments was creating 'Safe Haven' which provides mental health resources. She was also successful in her efforts to get funding to widen a congested portion of Interstate-12.

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"Pat was such a strong supporter of our public education and she believed the better our school system was, the better St. Tammany Parish would be as well," said Trey Folse, Superintendent of St. Tammany Parish Schools. 

Brister was diagnosed and treated for cancer a decade ago, but the disease returned late last year. She died February 3. 

Brister's late husband, Joseph, died several years ago. She's survived by four children and nine grandchildren.

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