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SCHERERVILLE | Former Indiana Sen. Sue Landske was remembered Monday as a loving woman and exemplary leader.

Landske's longtime friend, Senior Judge T. Edward Page, said she was known for standing by her principles.

But she also could work with people from both sides of the aisle and would carefully consider others' positions, he said.

"Who could have asked for more in a public servant?" he asked.

Landske, of Cedar Lake, died Friday at the age of 77 after a battle with lung cancer. She served in the state Senate for 30 years. She held an honorary position of lieutenant colonel in the Indiana National Guard.

Landske was an engaging woman who shared a smile with all, said Page, who served as her attorney.

But she also had "the look."

Page described the look as "that flash of the eyes, or a steady gaze under lowered eyelids."

The look often was reserved for people who misunderstood her or underestimated her, he said.

*"Inside that velvet glove was a steel fist, a Lake County steel fist," Page said.

Those who tried to mislead Landske got the look, and they often ended up regretting their actions, he said.

Still, Landske always put others before herself, Page said.

He recalled visiting with her recently. He had just gotten over a cold, and she was recovering from brain surgery.

Page asked how she was doing.

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Landske replied, "No, more importantly, how are you doing?"

"Her loss is felt by all who met her, and all those who were not blessed to have met her," he said.

Landske, a Republican, served as Center Township assessor from 1978 to 1984 before moving to the Senate. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2013 and did not seek re-election last year.

Legislation Landske championed includes Indiana's "Lemon Law," which protects consumers from purchasing defective vehicles, free tuition at state colleges and universities for Purple Heart recipients and a state living-will policy that gives adults choices for medical treatment if they become incapacitated.

Landske received the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 1980. Prior to her political career, she taught elementary school.

The Rev. Ed Tlucek, of Holy Name Catholic Church in Cedar Lake, led Landske's memorial service Monday at Memory Lane Funeral Home in Schererville.

Landske's civil service was important, Tlucek said, but he suggested her legacy should be one of love.

"This man," Tlucek said, standing before Landske's husband, Bill. "These children, these grandchildren. It all started here."

Landske's love also spilled over into the community, he said.

Tlucek said he felt that love as he administered last rites to Landske.

Love never ends, Tlucek said.

"It's not jealous. It's not rude. It forgives. It's amazing," he said. "And that was the love that was there. This deep family love."

Landske and her husband owned and operated All Golfcar Inc. in Cedar Lake. The family includes five children and seven grandchildren.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.