First Lady, VP Biden among Maggie Daley funeral attendees
Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and family watch as the casket of former first lady Maggie Daley arrives at Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chicago before her funeral service Monday.
Dignitaries from the highest ranks of government grieved alongside ordinary citizens Monday as the woman who served as Chicago's first lady for 22 years was remembered as a passionate woman who helped shape the city's identity.
Hundreds gathered inside one of Chicago's oldest churches for Maggie Daley's funeral Mass, while others stood outside, listening to the service over a loudspeaker. The wife of former Mayor Richard Daley died Thursday after a long fight with cancer. She was 68.
Mourners included current Mayor Rahm Emanuel, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.
The Rev. John Wall said "our Maggie" was the backbone of the Daley family and helped build the city's character with her love of the arts and education.
"A city is just a legal entity ... but we know how much more the city of Chicago is," Wall said. "Rich always said, 'The city's gotta have a soul,' and Mayor Emanuel said, 'And the heart of the city was Maggie.' She and Rich offered this great vision of inclusivity."
Maggie Daley was a patron of the arts known for her love of flowers, particularly pink tulips. A tulip named for her — "Tulipa Maggie Daley" — is planted along the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. In 1991, she launched a program called After School Matters for the city's high school students.
The former mayor held his hand on his heart and watched solemnly as the motorcade and hearse bearing his wife's casket arrived at the church, led by an Irish bagpipe band, which played a song called "Maggie." Pallbearers included Bill Daley, the former mayor's brother and the White House chief of staff.
The Daleys' children remembered their mother as full of passion and someone who led by example.
Nora Daley Conroy and Lally Daley Hotchkiss stood with their brother, Patrick Daley, as he spoke.
"Mom set powerful examples in everyday life," he said. "She enjoyed life, laughter and the occasional piece of dark chocolate."
Patrick Daley said his mother loved Chicago and was devoted to numerous causes, but always made time for family.
"Mom and dad's love was a true partnership," he said. "With all her commitments, she always had the time to simply be our mother."
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