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Public celebration of former Alberta premier Ralph Klein’s life to be held Friday

Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein polishes his name plate outside his new office at a Calgary law firm on Jan. 19, 2007. Mr. Klein passed away on March 29, 2013.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

A longtime friend of Alberta premier Ralph Klein says the family wanted his journey to end where it all started.

Rod Love said the family said no to a state funeral for Klein, who died peacefully in his sleep.

Love said Klein walked into Calgary City Hall as a reporter when he was 26 and later became mayor so that's where his wife Colleen wanted his final goodbye to be held.

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A celebration of Klein's life is expected to be held next Friday with one of the speakers being former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is also expected to attend.

Love said Klein never changed from the man he met in 1980 to the individual he was sitting with yesterday.

He said Klein will be remembered for many things but most of all for his larger-than-life personality and sense of humour.

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