10/17/2013 04:51 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Dr. Maxwell House, former lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, dies

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Tributes are pouring in after Dr. Maxwell House, a former lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, died Thursday at the age of 87.

Before serving as the province's lieutenant-governor from 1997 to 2002, House worked as a medical doctor and at one point during a seven-year stretch, was the only neurologist in Newfoundland and Labrador.

House was known as a pioneer in developing telemedicine to help patients, particularly those in rural areas.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale said House and his wife, Mary, worked tirelessly to serve the people of the province and earned the public's respect and admiration.

Dunderdale extended her sympathies to House's family and friends, saying his life was one worth emulating.

St. John's East MP Jack Harris said he was saddened to hear of House's death.

Harris said in addition to his contributions to medicine, House will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to literacy.

Flags at the provincial legislature have been lowered to half-mast.