Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Farewell to US First Lady Betty Ford who became snonymous with rehab

A military honour guard carries the coffin bearing the body of former first lady Betty Ford (AP)

The son of former US First Lady Betty Ford told mourners how his mother "was the first one to put her arms around you when you celebrated victory or suffered defeat".

Speaking at his mother's funeral service in Grace Episcopal Church, Michigan, Steven Ford said his mother - who lent her name to perhaps the world's best known rehab centre - had helped him cope with alcoholism.

Comparing his family to a naval fleet, Mr Ford said his father, the late President Gerald Ford, was an aircraft carrier.

"If mom was in our fleet, she was a hospital ship. She was the one with the love and the comfort," he added.

Mrs Ford, the accidental First Lady, was thrust into the White House when Richard Nixon resigned as president on August 9, 1974, and her husband, then vice president, assumed the nation's highest office.

Among the mourners were ex-president Bill Clinton, Barbara Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney.

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