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Saying goodbye to a grande dame

By Laurie Bennett

August 16, 2007 at 5:20pm

Although the church wasn’t as full as many would have predicted, New York bluebloods turned out in force Friday to remember the late Brooke Astor, the 105-year-old widow of Vincent Astor.

Pallbearers were members of the U.S. Marine Corps. The ushers and the speakers held the positions of honor at the funeral, which took place at St. Thomas Church, at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street.

Ushers included New York Public Library president Paul LeClerk and TV talk show host Charlie Rose.

Remembrances were given by David Rockefeller and Mrs. Astor’s son, Anthony D. Marshall.

No direct references were made to the ongoing controversy over Marshall’s care for his mother in her waning years. His son, Phillip, had filed neglect charges against him, but a judge declared that the allegations were unfounded.

“New York and her many friends have lost a wonderful person,” Marshall said at the funeral. He wept as he added, “But I’ve lost my mother.”

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