John Dingell's visitation set for Monday, funeral Mass site changes for Tuesday

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Services to memorialize former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving congressman in American history, will be held Tuesday in Dearborn, according to the office of Rep. Debbie Dingell, his wife. 

Dingell, a Democrat, died Thursday at age 92 after battling prostate cancer. He served in Congress for 59 years before retiring four years ago. 

The visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, according to the Rep. Dingell's office.

But the site of Tuesday's funeral mass for Dingell, a lifelong Catholic, is shifting. It now will be held at the Church of the Divine Child, 1055 North Silvery Lane in Dearborn at 11 a.m, Rep. Dingell's office said late Friday afternoon. The event is open to the public.

No reason was given for the change in location.

Later on Tuesday, Dingell's casket will be flown to Washington, D.C. , where a motorcade will drive it past the U.S. Capitol on the East Plaza. 

A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., according to Rep. Dingell's office. The Mass is open to the public, followed by a reception at Georgetown University. 

The flag of the United States is lowered to half-staff at the White Hous, Friday,  in honor of former Michigan Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history.

He is set to be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A planned burial at Arlington suggests that Dingell, who served in World War II, could receive a military funeral with honors. 

Flags at the U.S. Capitol were lowered to half staff Friday in honor of Dingell. They will remain lowered through his interment, according to the office of the House Sergeant at Arms.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered flags at the Capitol Complex and on state buildings to half staff for Friday,and President Donald Trump ordered flags lowered at the White House, federal buildings and military bases through sunset Saturday. 

"Deepest sympathies to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the entire family of John Dingell," Trump tweeted Friday.

"Longest serving Congressman in Country’s history which, if people understand politics, means he was very smart. A great reputation and highly respected man."

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Dingell is survived by his wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, who succeeded him in Congress in 2015. 

"To all our friends. My heart is broken. My true love is gone. The tears are flowing pretty freely as I miss the man that made me whole," she wrote on Facebook on Friday.

Nolan Finley contributed.