Mike and Maria Patakas at The Agency Palm Springs, Desert Cities

head_left_image

Betty Ford Memorial Service in Palm Desert is attended by Michelle Obama, former President Bush, and former First Ladies

Betty Ford Memorial Service in Palm Desert is attended by Michelle Obama, former President Bush, and former First Ladies

Betty Ford was one of the most respected and admired First Ladies in American history. A 34- year resident of our desert community, she has left a lasting legacy for both present and future generations. Ford passed away with her family by her bedside on Friday, June 8, at 93 years of age. She was honored on Tuesday at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California, where she and her late husband, former President Gerald Ford, worshipped.

Ford was remembered for her candor on topics which were sensitive at the time, such as breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed in 1974, and substance abuse, for which she was hospitalized in 1978. Her honesty has inspired countless people over the years to be screened for breast cancer and to seek help for substance abuse. In her native Michigan her memory is honored by the Betty Ford Diagnostic Breast Center, and here in the desert we have the famous Betty Ford Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, the community near Palm Springs where she and her husband lived.

Ford left an indelible imprint on the causes that were dear to her. She worked tirelessly for women’s rights and for the arts. She was active with several organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the Grand Rapids Junior League, and she helped the Junior League celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1975. Here in her beloved desert, the Junior League of Palm Springs and the Desert Cities is continually growing and attracting new members.

At Ford’s Memorial service, former First Lady Rosalyn Carter said of her friend of 40 years, “Her public disclosure of her own battle with breast cancer lifted the veil of secrecy from this terrible disease. She used the influence of the office of First Lady to promote early detection, and millions of women are in her debt today.” Carter added that the most appropriate description of Ford was, “someone who had the courage and grace to fight fear, stigma, and prejudice wherever she encountered it. And today it's almost impossible to imagine a time when people were afraid to reveal they had cancer, or speak publicly about personal struggles with alcohol addiction," she said.

Former President George W. Bush was among the mourners at the service, along with First lady Michelle Obama and former First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. Those attending were given a program that included the following poem by Emily Dickinson:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

All those who knew Betty and whose lives were touched by her could understand the significance of those words. Desert residents and our entire nation will benefit for years to come from Betty Ford’s efforts throughout her lifetime, and she will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to:

· Betty Ford First Ladies Tribute Fund, c/o the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, 303 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich., 49504

· Betty Ford Diagnostic Breast Center, Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, 145 Michigan St. NE, Suite 4200, Grand Rapids, Mich., 49503

· Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, 183 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, Colo., 81657

· The Betty Ford Legacy Scholarship Fund, c/o Betty Ford Center Foundation, 41990 Cook St., Suite C-101, Palm Desert, Calif., 92211

 

 

Betty Ford Memorial Service in Palm Desert is attended by Michelle Obama, former President Bush, and former First Ladies

 

 

THEAGENCY

A Global Marketing and Sales Organization

Estates Agents 

Mike Patakas | Maria Patakas

760.808.5400 | 760.464.4650 

BRE #s: 01264926 | 01785498

 

Click below to view more of our listings in Palm Springs and surrounding desert cities:

 

The Agency - Palm Springs

 

Follow us on Facebook

Comment balloon 0 commentsMike & Maria Patakas • July 14 2011 05:54PM
Betty Ford Memorial Service in Palm Desert is attended by Michelle…
share
Betty Ford Memorial Service in Palm Desert is attended by Michelle Obama, former President Bush, and former First Ladies Betty Ford was one of the most respected and admired First Ladies in American history. A 34- year resident… more