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Lansing — U.S. flags within the State Capitol Complex will be lowered to half-staff Thursday to honor former Michigan Democratic Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr.

Hertel died Sunday at age 63.

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered the lowering, saying in a statement Hertel “knew Michigan was at its best when we work together and was committed to finding common ground amongst differing viewpoints.” Snyder says Hertel’s legacy “will serve as an inspiration.”

Hertel was first elected to the Michigan House in 1980 and served his Detroit district until 1998.

A funeral is 10 a.m. Thursday at A.H. Peters Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Officials of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority on Tuesday called Hertel’s passing “a great loss to us all.”

As director of the Port Authority from 2003-10, Hertel oversaw completion of the Port Authority’s riverfront headquarters. “His years at the port are a testament to Mr. Hertel’s commitment to the betterment of Southeast Michigan and, indeed, the entire State,” the statement said.

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