Grand Rapids—Funeral plans for former First Lady Betty Ford were announced in California Saturday.
Betty Ford, 93, died peacefully from natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage Friday. The wife of late former President Gerald Ford was surrounded by loved ones.
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Ford’s casket will be taken to the family church in Palm Desert, arriving at 11:20 am (all California locations are Pacific Daylight Time) along with the Ford family. A private prayer service at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church will be held with guests arriving at 12:30 pm.
The funeral begins at 2:00 pm with three eulogists: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, journalist Cokie Roberts and Geoffrey Mason, who's on the board of directors of the Betty Ford Center. The service will finish at 3:30.
The casket will lie at the church in public repose from 5 pm to about midnight.
On Wednesday, the casket and family will arrive at the Palm Springs International Airport at 9 am. The flight will arrive at Gerald R. Ford International Airport at 5 pm, greeted by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Ford's motorcade will progress to downtown Grand Rapids, arriving at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum at 6pm. There will be a short prayer service and Gov. Snyder will made brief remarks.
Ford's casket will lie in public repose in the lobby of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum beginning at 7 pm and continue into the night.
Thursday at noon, the Ford family will go to the museum and spend a period of time. At 1:00 pm, the casket and family will go to Grace Episcopal Church.
At 2 pm there will be a private funeral with two eulogists: Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney; and presidential historian Richard Norton Smith. The funeral will end at 3:30 pm.
The casket and family will return to the Ford Museum. A private internment service will continue until 5 pm. This will conclude the funeral services for Betty Ford.