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Betty Ford's funeral details announced

Betty Ford's funeral details announced
Former First Lady Betty Ford, seen in this June 4, 2001 file photo, died at 93 in Rancho Mirage, California, on July 8, 2011. Her husband Former President Gerald Ford died in 2006. UPI/Michael Kleinfeld/FILE | License Photo

PALM DESERT, Calif., July 10 (UPI) -- The family of former U.S. first lady Betty Ford said her California memorial service Tuesday would be private, although the public was welcome afterward.

The 93-year-old wife of former President Gerald Ford died Friday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage of natural causes with family members at her side, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Family spokesman Greg Willard, the Fords' longtime attorney, said in a statement a private memorial at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert would begin at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday. Eulogies will be given by former first lady Rosalynn Carter, news commentator Cokie Roberts and the director of the Betty Ford Center for addictions, Geoffrey Mason.

Public visitation at the church was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., Willard said.

Ford's remains will be flown to Grand Rapids, Mich., for burial beside her husband, who died in 2006.

The wife of the 38th president used her status to raise awareness of women's healthcare and substance abuse treatment. She underwent a mastectomy and overcame addictions to alcohol and painkillers, leading to the founding of the clinic named for her in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

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