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Death and state funeral of Gerald Ford facts for kids

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Lying in State - President Gerald Ford (8288035735)
President Gerald Ford's casket lying in state at Capitol Hill

On December 26, 2006, Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California at 6:45 p.m. local time (02:45, December 27, UTC).


At 8:49 p.m. local time, President Ford's wife of 58 years, Betty Ford, issued a statement that confirmed his death: "My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."

At the age of 93 years and 165 days, Ford was the longest-lived U.S. president in history until November 25, 2017, when his record was then surpassed by George H. W. Bush, who lived to be past 94 years.

Ford was the second president to die during the presidency of George W. Bush, as well as the second to die in the twenty-first century. The first being Ronald Reagan.


The schedule for the state funeral was announced at a press briefing on December 27 in Palm Desert, California.

President and Mrs. Ford and their family chose to have the state funeral and related services in three phases (Palm Desert, California; Washington, D.C.; Grand Rapids, Michigan), with his burial in a hillside tomb next to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The services and ceremonies were held from December 29 through January 3.

The state funeral took place at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, December 30, 2006, with further funeral services on January 2 at Washington National Cathedral and on January 3 at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids.

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