RANCHO MIRAGE (CBS) — Betty Ford’s four children issued a statement of gratitude to the many well-wishers and mourners sad at the passing of the former First Lady Friday.

The statement read as follows:

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that our beloved mother Betty Ford has passed away at 93 years of age. She died peacefully today at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

Mother’s love, candor, devotion, and laughter enriched our lives and the lives of the millions she touched throughout this great nation. To be in her presence was to know the warmth of a truly great lady.

Mother’s passing leaves a deep void, but it also fills us with immeasurable appreciation for the life we and Dad shared with her.”

It was signed by Susan Ford Bales, Steven Meigs Ford, John Gardner Ford and Michael Gerald Ford.

A celebration of life service for friends and family is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert. The Betty Ford Memorial Web site has more information.

In lieu of donations, family also asked for donations to Mrs. Ford’s favorite charities and organizations. A link for those can be found here.

Mrs. Ford is to be buried alongside her husband on the grounds of his presidential library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In addition, those wanting more information about Mrs. Ford, the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum as well as a place to sign condolences for the family can also be found at the memorial Web site.


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