Betty Ford to be Buried Next to Husband in Mich.

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Former first lady Betty Ford will be laid to rest Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich., next to her husband, former President Gerald Ford.
         
Hundreds of admirers are expected to gather at the Episcopal church where she will be memorialized for a final time.

"She's just a very real, genuine first lady, probably more so than anyone I can think of," said retired teacher Geik Geiken -- one of hundreds residents who wished to pay their respects to the former first lady.

"(The Fords) are a very important part of Grand Rapids," he added.

On Tuesday, 800 people attended a bipartisan memorial service for Mrs. Ford at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif.

Among those present were former President George W. Bush and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Carter noted that Mrs. Ford helped shine a light on previously taboo subjects like breast cancer.  Ford was also transparent about her struggles with alcoholism.

"Millions of women are in her debt today and she was never afraid to speak the truth even about the most sensitive subjects, including her own struggle with alcohol and pain killers," Carter said.

"She got some criticism, but I thought she was wonderful and her honesty gave to others every single day," she added.

Mrs. Ford passed away July 8 at the age of 93.

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