Aretha Franklin’s Four Day Funeral Arrangements Planned

Aretha Franklin

By Frederick H. Lowe


Aretha Franklin, who died last week, will lie in repose August 28th and 29th at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

The public will be able to view her body in an open casket each of those days from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A private funeral for family and friends will  be held 10:00 a.m. on August 31 at Greater Grace Temple, a 4,000-member church in Detroit.  The funerals for Rosa Parks and Levi Stubs of the singing group the “Four Tops” were held at Greater Grace.

On the same day, she will be buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. Her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin, her brother, Cecil Franklin and her two sisters, Carolyn Franklin and Emma Franklin are also buried there.

Ms. Franklin, who was 76, died on Thursday from pancreatic cancer, an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the tissues of the pancreas. The disease affects a high percentage of blacks.  She died in her Detroit home where she was receiving hospice care.

Located in the abdomen behind the lower part of the stomach, the pancreas aids in digestion. The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine reported the incidence rate for pancreatic cancer among blacks is 30% to 70% higher than other racial groups in America.

Not only is the incidence rate of pancreatic cancer higher among African Americans, they also have the poorest survival rates because their cancer is often diagnosed at more advanced stages.

Cigarette smoking, growing older, diabetes and obesity increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Some 37.1 percent of black men and 56.6 percent of  black women are obese, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest public health philanthropy,


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