MONTREAL -- There have been so many words used to describe Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau over the past week.
Class, grace, dignity, respect; the list of accolades is long. But one of the words repeated most often is humility.
Beliveau was not a man who liked speaking of his greatness, in spite of how obvious it was.
One can only imagine what Beliveau would have thought Wednesday when he was laid to rest in a state funeral at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral eight days after he passed away at his home at age 83.
The tributes that came from former teammates, dignitaries and a who's who of the hockey world likely would have been difficult for a man as humble as Beliveau to hear.
"His presence didn't diminish others but made others better," former Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden said during his eulogy. "He had other skills and might have done other things, but he understood probably early in life that his greatest impact wouldn't be as a corporate or political leader, but as Jean Beliveau, in doing what he did and in being who he was.
"As a great star, he had a responsibility; he knew to live not as a star but as a good person."