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Rex Lyle Carter, former South Carolina House Speaker, died Friday at home, his family said.

Carter was 88 and House Speaker from 1973-80.

A Honea Path native, World War II veteran and Greenville attorney, Carter served as a Democrat in the South Carolina House from 1953-80.

Former Gov. Dick Riley said Carter was "a wonderful friend to me." He said Carter was a "mentor to me and many others."

Republican David Wilkins of Greenville, who succeeded Carter as House Speaker, said: "To me and everyone who served with him from either political party, Rex was a real gentleman, very kind and considerate of others."

Carter is survived by his wife Floride Gulledge Carter, three children and five grandchildren.

His funeral service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Augusta Road Baptist Church.

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