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First Lady Michelle Obama to attend California memorial service for Betty Ford [Updated]

July 11, 2011 | 10:56 am

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama will fly to California to pay her respects Tuesday at the memorial service for former First Lady Betty Ford.

The private service is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Margaret Episcopal Church in Palm Desert. Former First Lady Roselynn Carter, who became close friends with Ford, will deliver one of the eulogies.

The Ford family has invited the public to pay its respects at a repose at the church from 5 p.m. to midnight, after the memorial service.

Shuttle buses will be provided from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. More information about the service can be found at www.bettyfordmemorial.com.

Ford’s remains will be flown to Michigan on Wednesday and are scheduled to be laid to rest Thursday next to her husband, former President Gerald Ford, at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

The first lady died Friday of natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. She was 93.

[Updated at 11:15 a.m.: A spokeswoman for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation said former First Lady Nancy Reagan also would attend the service in Palm Desert.]

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-- Phil Willon in Riverside

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama, shown at an event at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in June, will attend Tuesday's private memorial service for former First Lady Betty Ford in Palm Desert. Credit: Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images

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