During the service, Tiller was remembered for his generosity and sense of humor.
“Dear God, get heaven ready, because Mr. Enthusiasm is coming,” said Larry Borcherding, of Overland Park, who first met Tiller a half-century ago when both were students at the University of Kansas. “Heaven will never be the same. It will be a better, better place with George in it.”
About 700 people filled the church sanctuary and some 200 others watched a closed-circuit television broadcast in another room.
A large portrait of Tiller hung at the front of the sanctuary, and nearby was a wreath of flowers with the words “TRUST WOMEN.” Some mourners wore buttons that said “Attitude is Everything.”
Tiller’s clinic in Wichita was among a few in the U.S. performing third-trimester abortions, and that made it a target of regular protests. Most were peaceful, but his clinic was bombed in 1986, and he was shot in both arms in 1993.
Borcherding recalled that immediately after that 1993 shooting, Tiller kept in close contact with him because Borcherding had lost his job.
“Who had a more boisterous, heartfelt laugh than George Tiller?” Borcherding said. “There are so many stories. I have many, many, many. Let’s be sure to share them later.”
Not really sure what to say. I’m somewhat speechless.