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Al Quie, a farm kid from Rice County who went on to serve two decades in the U.S. House and then a single term as Minnesota's governor, died on Aug. 18. Though out of political office for a full four decades, Quie remained active in public life in Minnesota for many years, and was well-regarded by Minnesota political leaders from both parties.

Gov. Tim Walz, a DFLer who like Quie represented southern Minnesota in Congress, in statement on Saturday called Quie "caring, funny and generous." Walz said he recently attended Quie's 99th birthday party, "where I thanked him for his mentorship, wisdom and leadership."

"A veteran, a man of faith, and a life-long public servant, Governor Quie had a deep commitment to the betterment of our state and a legacy that extends beyond his time in office," Walz said.

"Using his deep faith as a bedrock, Gov. Quie led with dignity and respect," added Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

"Reaching across the aisle, he always put the people of Minnesota first," Sen. Amy Klobuchar tweeted Saturday.

Three of Quie's fellow former governors added thoughts in email.

"Al was a gentle giant," wrote Republican Tim Pawlenty, who served as governor from 2003-11. "He had strong views and a kind soul."

Gov. Mark Dayton, the DFL governor from 2011-19, called Quie "a very decent man, who had the misfortune to serve as Governor during a very indecent fiscal time." Quie's four years as governor saw the state budget plunge from surplus to deficit as the national economy floundered. The political fallout was seen as a driving factor in Quie's decision to not seek a second term.

Dayton also praised Quie's work after politics. "After leaving office, he lived his deep faith by mentoring men just released from prison," Dayton wrote. "He accompanied one to the State Pardon Board during my service and personally gained him a pardon by his passionate advocacy."

Arne Carlson, Republican governor from 1991-99, called Quie "a good man in all senses."

"His name will always be synonymous with integrity and kindness," Carlson wrote. "He was religious and lived by what he believed."

Carlson, who was elected state auditor the same year Quie was elected governor, recalls being summoned by Quie ahead of the 1982 election. Quie shared his decision not to seek re-election.

"An enormous weight had been lifted," Carlson wrote, recalling that Quie "did not enjoy" the job of governor.

"What was noticeable" Carlson wrote, "was the immediate change in his face and the looseness of his body ... he was totally relieved and completely at peace with himself."