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Betty Ford's family arrives at Palm Desert church for service

July 12, 2011 | 12:00 pm

About 11:20 a.m., the hearse carrying the body of former First Lady Betty Ford pulled into the parking lot of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, where a memorial service is scheduled.
Ford2 Led by California Highway Patrol officers, the hearse was followed Tuesday by a long procession of black sedans and sport utility vehicles carrying family and friends.

The hearse pulled up to the side of the church under a clear blue sky with the rocky Santa Rosa Mountains serving as a dramatic backdrop.

Photos: Life of Betty Ford   

Family members, including son Jack and daughter Susan Ford Bales, stood by as a military honor guard removed the casket and carried it into the church’s side door amid near 100-degree heat.

A private family service was scheduled to begin at noon.

A memorial service for dignitaries and invited guests, including First Lady Michelle Obama, former first ladies Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, and former President George W. Bush is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.


Betty Ford dies at 93 

Plane problems force Bill Clinton to miss Betty Ford's funeral

Michelle Obama to attend California memorial service for Betty Ford

-- Phil Willon in Palm Desert

Top photo: Members of the Ford family arrive at Saint Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Pallbearers carry the casket of former Lirst Lady Betty Ford into the church. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times