Hundreds of mourners paid tribute to the former Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan, Sylvia Fedoruk, at a state funeral in Saskatoon Friday afternoon.

The eulogy was delivered by former University of Saskatchewan president Peter MacKinnon.

He spoke about her many achievements in life, and her endearing sense of humour.

"When I saw her on the hundreds and hundreds of occasions when I greeted her, I always greeted her as your honour. And she invariably replied that she lost her honour years ago," MacKinnon recalled.

Former Saskatchewan premier Grant Devine, who was in office when Fedoruk was appointed to the vice-regal post, also spoke at the funeral.


Sylvia Fedoruk was the first woman named lieutenant-governor in Saskatchewan and served from 1988 to 1994. (Government of Saskatchewan)

"Sylvia Fedoruk was our friend, our professor, our hero, our cheerleader, our diplomat and our role model," he said.

Current Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall also touched on Fedoruk's down-to-earth qualities.

"We hear ... of her humour, of her modesty, of her humble and deferential heart. Of her love for the simple things of Saskatchewan like wild blueberries," he said.

Fedoruk was an accomplished athlete and took part in pioneering nuclear-medicine research at the university.

She died last week at the age of 85.

Born in Canora, Sask., in 1927, Fedoruk moved with her family to Ontario, but later returned to Saskatchewan.

She was a university athlete, participating in basketball, volleyball, golf, softball and track and field. She was also a champion curler, and was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1986.

Joining the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic in the 1950s, she became known for her work with the Cobalt-60 Beam therapy unit, which was used to treat tumours deep within the body.

Fedoruk became Saskatchewan's lieutenant governor in 1988.

She was also a former chancellor with the University of Saskatchewan and an officer of the Order of Canada.