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Hundreds mourn longtime Minnesota Rep. Oberstar

Thursday - 5/8/2014, 5:35pm  ET

The casket containing the remains of former Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., is carried into Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial, in Potomac, Md., Thursday, May 8, 2014. Oberstar served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 2011 and died in his sleep at home in Potomac, Md., on May, 3, 2014. He was 79-years old. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- Friends and family are remembering longtime Minnesota U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar for his insatiable curiosity and his passion for transportation.

About 500 people attended Oberstar's funeral mass Thursday at his home Catholic church in a Washington, D.C., suburb, where he lived throughout his 36-year career in Congress and afterward.

Both Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken touted Oberstar's successful career in Congress.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1jlAQa0) reports former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said "we all learned" from Oberstar.

Oberstar died in his sleep last weekend at age 79. The northeastern Minnesota Democrat was first elected to Congress in 1974 and served 18 terms -- the state's longest-serving member of Congress. He lost to GOP challenger Chip Cravaack (kruh-VAK') in 2010.

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