Mayor Ed Koch funeral services set for Monday

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch died Feb. 1, Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch died Feb. 1, 2013, at age 88 of congestive heart failure, Photo Credit: Dick Kraus

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The city he loved and regularly asked "How'm I doing?" will say a farewell to former Mayor Ed Koch Monday during funeral services on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

His deep admiration for New York City, which he served as mayor for three terms from 1978 to 1989, and his deep pride in his Jewish faith will define the ceremony.

The American flag, the Israeli flag and the flag of New York City will be displayed, as requested by Koch. Political dignitaries, friends and city residents attending what is likely to be a standing-room-only service at Temple Emanu-El will exit to a hymnal rendition of "New York, New York."

Former President Bill Clinton, attending on behalf of President Barack Obama, will offer a remembrance, as will Koch's chief of staff, Diane Coffey, political aide John LoCicero, and friends and family. Ido Aharoni, the Israeli consul general in New York, also will speak, said Koch's longtime spokesman, George Arzt.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg will deliver the eulogy, mayoral spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine said.

"Ed loved the job because he was so good at it," Bloomberg said in his weekly radio address Sunday on 1010 WINS. "His legacy is all around us -- in all five boroughs -- and I think it's fair to say that no retired elected official in the history of the world remained more involved, more vocal, more relevant than Edward I. Koch."

Koch, 88, died Friday of congestive heart failure.

The funeral will start at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. Koch will be buried in a private service at Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights following the funeral.

After the funeral, the NYPD will honor Koch with a helicopter flyover, Erskine said.

A private shiva, the Jewish period of mourning, will be held at the mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion, Tuesday, she said.

At once congenial and confrontational, Koch led the city through the 1970s fiscal crisis, the 1977 blackout and subsequent looting, and the 1980s transit strike, the spread of AIDS and the crack crisis.

In the decades after his tenure, Koch joined a law firm, wrote nonfiction books, reviewed movies and was always ready with commentary on issues affecting the city.

Koch in 2008 purchased his burial plot and chose to inscribe his tombstone with the last words of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl: "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish."

With Kevin Deutsch

You also may be interested in: