Donald Trump and family attend Ivana Trump's funeral in New York City
Former President Donald Trump paid respects to his first wife, Ivana Trump, joining their three children Wednesday at a funeral Mass for the 1980s style icon and businesswoman who helped him build an empire that launched him to the presidency.
"A very sad day, but at the same time a celebration of a wonderful and beautiful life," the ex-president wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, before heading to the funeral Mass.
"This will not be easy!!!" added Trump, who attended the service with his current wife, former first lady Melania Trump.
Donald and Ivana Trump's three children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — and their families followed Ivana's gold-colored coffin into St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Tiffany Trump, the daughter of the former president and his second wife, Marla Maples, also attended the service, as did family friends including Jeanine Pirro, co-host of Fox News' "The Five," and Charles Kushner, a real estate developer and the father of Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner. Fashion designer Dennis Basso, a longtime friend of Ivana Trump's, was also among the mourners.
Trump's family announced Thursday that the 73-year-old had died at her Manhattan home. Authorities said the death was an accident, with blunt impact injuries to her torso as the cause.
"We all want to remember Ivana as the vibrant, sociable person she was," longtime friend R. Couri Hay said before the service.
Ivana and Donald Trump met in the 1970s and were married from 1977 to 1992. In the 1980s, they were a power couple, and she became well known in her own right, instantly recognizable with her blond hair in an updo and her glamorous look.
Ivana Trump also took part in her husband's businesses, managing one of his Atlantic City casinos and picking out some of the design elements in New York City's Trump Tower.
Their very public divorce was ugly, but in recent years they were friendly. Ivana Trump was an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and said they spoke on a regular basis.
She told CBS "Sunday Morning" in 2017 that her former husband still sought her advice and that they spoke around once a week.
"He ask me about, 'Should I tweet? Should I not tweet?'" she said. "I said, 'I think you should tweet. It's a new way, a new technology. And if you want to get your words across rightly, without telling The New York Times, which is going to twist every single word of yours, this is how you get your message out.'"
She also told "Sunday Morning" that she had no desire to work in her ex-husband's administration while he was president.
"I was just offered to be American ambassador to Czech Republic. Donald told me. He said, 'Ivana, if you want it, I give it to you.' But I like my freedom," she said. "Why would I go and say bye-bye to Miami in the winter, bye-bye to Saint-Tropez in the summer, and bye-bye to spring and fall in New York? I have a perfect life."
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