ST. LOUIS -- Two days before election day, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill bid farewell to a mother who was "the sun, the moon and the stars."
In an upbeat, even joyous tribute featuring a Baptist choir and four-piece band, the senator said her mother loved Missouri and "Missouri loved her back."
The service began with a rendition of "You Are My Sunshine" and ended with rousing versions of "O Happy Day" and "Happy Days are Here Again."
McCaskill described her mother, who died Monday at 84, as the sun, "big and bright...warmth and light" who drew people in naturally.
"We all know the sun is shining even when we can't see it," the senator said.
Mother was a whirling dervish who was always involved in the PTA, church, Girl Scouts and "always politics." Betty Anne McCaskill was as prone to yell at the governor as she was to scold the mayor, the senator said.
As a child, her mother told her at Halloween to say "trick or treat and vote for JFK."
Claire McCaskill drew a laugh when she told the crowd about a "good ol' boy" in the Bootheel who told her this year that she faced a tough re-election fight.
"Any suggestions?" the senator asked him.
"Are you going to be campaigning with your mother?" he told her. "She's a lot more popular than you are."
Betty Anne McCaskill often appeared in her daughter's campaign ads, and a compilation of those ads and outtakes were shown in a short video that drew laughter and applause.