GRAND RAPIDS—They provided the patriotic arrangements for President Gerald Ford's funeral. Now, Eastern Floral is preparing to provide the flowers when the former first lady is laid to rest.
"Mrs. Ford was a very unique individual, a woman of great character, strong person," said Eastern Floral CEO Bing Goei. "And she likes her design in the same way: somewhat more contemporary, always the basic design. Some of her favorite flowers are the hydrangeas and lilies and the orchids and those types of things."
The company has served up arrangements for the Ford family in happier times for many years.
"President Ford used to send flowers and by corsages for Betty, his wife, for diffrent occasions in their marriage," Goei explained to Fox 17 News.
A number of red, white and blue floral bouquets were used for President Ford's funeral in 2006. Goei anticipates using lots of white elegant flowers for Betty Ford's funeral Thursday, including a lot of feminine pastel colors.
Unfortunately, a flower named after Betty Ford, the Betty Ford orchid, will not be available for use in the services. Goei said the flower is a winter bloomer.
Betty Ford will be laid to rest Thursday next to President Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.
On Wednesday, her casket and family members will arrive at Gerald R. Ford International Airport at 5 p.m., greeted by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Ford's motorcade will progress to downtown Grand Rapids, arriving at the museum at 6 p.m. There will be a short prayer service and Gov. Snyder will made brief remarks.
Ford's casket will lie in public repose in the lobby of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum beginning at 7 p.m. and continue into the night.
Thursday at noon, the Ford family will go to the museum and spend a period of time. At 1:00 p.m., the casket and family will proceed to Grace Episcopal Church.
At 2 p.m. there will be a private funeral with two eulogists: Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney; and presidential historian Richard Norton Smith. The funeral will end at 3:30 p.m.
The casket and family will return to the Ford Museum. A private internment service will be held until 5 p.m.