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Politics is a rough-and-tumble business, and those who succeed at it often leave hurt feelings and resentment in their wake.

Below the overt animosity that wafts between political foes, however, exists a humanity that manifests itself in times of tragedy and softens hearts previously hardened by the fray.

Such was the case Thursday in the Utah Capitol Rotunda, where mourners gathered to honor House Speaker Becky Lockhart, who died Saturday of a rare brain disease at age 46.

Leading the way at the speaker's podium was Gov. Gary Herbert, who not that long ago viewed Lockhart as his primary threat to re-election.

In fact, it was just a year ago that the Provo lawmaker, on the 2014 legislative session's opening day, used her welcoming remarks to House colleagues to scold Herbert for cozying up to President Barack Obama's administration on health care. She even went so far as to call the sitting governor, a fellow Republican, an "inaction figure."

During the year leading up to that address, Lockhart had crisscrossed the state, holding two halls with GOP legislators to shore up her credentials before what many presumed would be her attempt to wrest the Republican nomination from Herbert in 2016.

After Lockhart's speech, she and Herbert were publicly cordial, but behind the scenes they carried serious suspicions about each other.

That was then. That was politics.

On Thursday, the human equation trumped any political calculus as Herbert had nothing but praise for Lockhart and her family. He called her a leader, a neighbor and, most important, a friend.

Another speaker who evoked fond memories of Lockhart was Rep. Greg Hughes. Two years ago, when Lockhart was seeking her second term as speaker and Hughes his second as majority whip, she tried to oust him from leadership.

She lobbied hard among the Republican House Caucus for fellow Utah County legislator Francis Gibson to defeat Hughes, R-Draper, in the whip contest. Her clout almost carried the day. Hughes clung to his leadership post by one vote.

But during their second leadership stint together, Lockhart and Hughes saw their relationship improve, and he and Gibson, R-Mapleton, who also was on the speaker's podium Thursday, collaborated on key legislation.

On Thursday, Hughes, who succeeded Lockhart as head of the House, said she was still the speaker, and he vowed to make her proud.

Democrat David Litvack, the former House minority leader, lauded Lockhart for her deference to members of the opposition party. His respect for what he called her fairness toward him was echoed by another Salt Lake City Democrat, former Rep. Jennifer Seelig, who replaced Litvack as minority leader after he left the Legislature.

Seelig and Lockhart shared a feminist perspective, although their policy positions on women's issues often differed. Lockhart stood up to any talk that a woman couldn't be an effective political leader and proved such notions wrong, becoming Utah's first female House speaker.

Besides earning bipartisan praise, Lockhart's life also earned respect from a range of religious leaders. Mormon apostle D. Todd Christofferson, who shared her LDS faith, spoke. Bishop John C. Wester, leader of Utah's 300,000 Catholics, offered the invocation and the Calvary Baptist Church Choir performed two spiritual songs — "Amazing Grace" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Audience members included former House Speaker David Clark, R-Santa Clara, whom Lockhart defeated for the House's top spot in a bitter battle four years ago, and former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who faces multiple corruption charges after an exhaustive House investigation of his handpicked successor, John Swallow.

Who championed that probe? Lockhart.