Ivana Trump was celebrated at a Manhattan funeral attended by her closest family members, along with a crowd of revelers gathering in sweltering heat to honor the onetime symbol of New York glamour and opulence.
The service was held at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church, a gothic-style church blocks away from Trump’s Upper East Side apartment. About 100 people attended the private gathering, including her ex-husband Donald Trump and their three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.
It was an understated affair for a woman who was a New York society icon in the 1980s, known for both her elegant style and her prowess helping to build her then-husband’s sprawling real estate empire. She died at her home July 14 at the age of 73.
Ivana Trump’s direct family arrived in a funeral procession of SUVs around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, with daughter Ivanka getting out first, holding one of her son’s hands.
Trump’s gold coffin was lifted out of a hearse while the family stood solemnly by.
Donald Trump, clad in a navy suit, arrived separately through a side door with his current wife Melania, and their son Barron. Also arriving separately was Tiffany Trump, the daughter of former US president and his second wife, Marla Maples. Other attendees included Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
The funeral also drew an ever-shifting crowd who wanted to pay their respects, despite the 97-degree weather.
“I think she was a great role model to many single mothers,” said Sophie Sassoon, a single mother herself. “She was a woman who could have been known as Mrs. Trump, but she wasn’t.”
“She was in charge,” said Annie Meade, said a Manhattan native who grew up seeing the Trump family. “She was tough. She produced three very high-powered children who do incredible things.”
Miles Stanislaw is a New Yorker who also owns a home in Florida not far from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. He said he had a particular affinity for Ivana Trump because, she, like him, was a skiier. Trump, who spent her childhood in communist Czechoslovakia, was well known for her skiing abilities before becoming a model and the eventual wife of Donald Trump.
“She was so athletic and young,” Stanislaw said. “She’s an incredible woman, and unlike some divorces, she and Trump did a fabulous job parenting, creating a good partnership going forward.”
Ivana’s friends remembered her as a fierce dog lover. She was so passionate about animal rescue that the Trump family has asked friends to donate to the Big Dog Ranch in Florida in lieu of sending flowers.
Her death was due to “blunt impact injuries” and was ruled an accident by the New York’s medical examiner’s office.