Top White House Officials Expected At Maggie Daley’s Funeral
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Updated 11/27/11 – 9:29 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – The White House will be well-represented at the funeral of former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley on Monday.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Saturday told CBS 2 that he and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will attend the services for Mrs. Daley, who died on Thanksgiving after a nine-year battle with breast cancer. LaHood said Bill Daley, the president’s chief of staff, will be there; Daley is the late Mrs. Daley’s brother-in-law.
Rounding out the White House contingent Monday will be Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama adviser.
At an appearance in Chicago Saturday, Jarrett praised Mrs. Daley and shared some life-changing advice the former first lady gave her.
“When I first started working for Mayor (Richard) Daley, I was a single mom, and I was working seven days a week around the clock,” Jarrett told reporters. “Maggie pulled me aside and she said, ‘Valerie, the mayor doesn’t work on Sundays. You shouldn’t work on Sundays, either. Spend that one day with your daughter, make it a family day.’”
Jarrett said she took that advice.
“I treasured those Sunday with my daughter growing up, and I really owe that all to Maggie,” she said.
No formal announcement was made Saturday about whether either President Obama or his wife, Michelle, would be attending Mrs. Daley’s funeral. Barack Obama launched his political career from Chicago’s South Side and is a political ally of Richard Daley, who did not seek re-election.
The Obamas expressed their condolences in a written statement upon Mrs. Daley’s death.
The current Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, served as Obama’s first chief of staff at the White House. Emanuel planned to pay his respects today at Maggie Daley’s wake, which will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center from noon to 10 p.m.
Her funeral will be Monday at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Maggie Daley, 68, was known as a champion of the cultural arts and is credited with starting the Chicago Public Schools’ After School Matters program, which allows students to pursue creative interests.
An instructor in the charity’s Hip Hop Culture program, Tanji Harper wept openly Saturday as she recalled Mrs. Daley.
“She took her power and her influence, and she gave back more than she took, and that’s what you’re supposed to do in this world,” Harper said.
On Saturday at the Cultural Center, regular Chicagoans lined up at memorial books to write their messages of condolence to the family.
Maria Leaner said she didn’t know Maggie Daley personally, “but who she represented and what she represented means a lot to me. I love this city as much as I think she did.”