ATLANTA -- The life of former Republican presidential candidate, businessman and radio broadcaster Herman Cain was honored Friday during a private funeral service in southwest Atlanta.
Cain died July 30 at the age of 74. The Henry County resident had been hospitalized for a month with COVID-19 after traveling throughout much of June, including to a rally for his ally President Donald Trump.
The service, held at Alfonso Dawson Mortuary, was streamed on hermancaincelebrations.com. Several dozen masked participants attended in person, facing a coffin covered in red roses. In a sign of the times, the Rev. Otis Byrd sang a solo in a black facemask.
The website noted that Cain died 18 years to the day that he was licensed to preach at his longtime church, Antioch Baptist Church North, which he first joined in 1955 at age 10.
The Rev. Kenneth L. Alexander, pastor of the west side Atlanta church, said his friend never lost his sense of humor despite several battles with cancer as he climbed to the top ranks of business and politics.
"No matter what Rev. Cain was going through, he usually didn't let you see it on his face," Alexander said in his eulogy. "He always smiled. He always had a joke that he thought was funny."
"He had an abundant life," Alexander added.
Several friends and family members offered their tributes on video.
Former colleague Spencer Wiggins recounted Cain's charisma.
"Herman had a rare gift. He could walk into a room and light it up," Wiggins said, recounting how Cain convinced him to move from his hometown of Philadelphia to work for him in Omaha, Neb., which caused some of his family members to jokingly speculate he was joining the witness protection program.