Congresswoman Carrie Meek Credit: U.S. Congress/Public Domain photo

MIAMI (AP) — A wake and funeral services are being held in Florida for former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek, who died last week at 95.

Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, will be honored by a wake Monday evening at Miami Dade College’s William and Joan Lehman Theater, followed by a funeral service and celebration at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, her family said.

Prior to the funeral service, her family will take part in a motorcade procession, “the Carrie Meek Final Farewell Journey,” that will pass by key landmarks associated with her life, family spokesman Adam Sharon said in a news release.

Meek began her congressional career at an age when many people retire. She was 66 when she easily won the 1992 Democratic congressional primary in her Miami-Dade County district, as one of the first African-Americans from Florida to win a seat in Congress.

In 2003, due in part to health issues, Meek left Congress to make room for her son Kendrick Meek.

“She’s home now,” her son told those gathered for a memorial service for his mother on Sunday.

“She loved to have fun and she loved a good time and she was brilliant,” he said. “We as a family are just extremely proud of the example that she left with us here still in this community of how to live and how to serve.”

The service was open to the public, and the wake and funeral service will be as well. Numerous elected officials attended to pay their respects.

“This was a woman who was a demonstration of what public service is supposed to be: tough, smart, loving and exceedingly loyal to no end,” said U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Republican who represents parts of Miami-Dade County.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Carrie Meek Foundation, which she founded in November 2001 to provide the Miami-Dade community with much-needed resources, opportunities and jobs. Meek led the Foundation’s daily operations until 2015 when she stepped down due to declining health.

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