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Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New (Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, speaks during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Sylvia Woods remembered

A funeral service took place at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon to celebrate the life of Sylvia Woods, founder of the soul food restaurant that carries her name. Woods died last week at age 86. She and her husband started Sylvia's Restaurant in 1962. It since has become a must-stop not only for the neighborhood but for tourists and high-profile politicians as well, looking to fill up on fried chicken, cornbread and other Southern staples.

Bedelia Woods is flanked by the Rev. Al
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Bedelia Woods is flanked by the Rev. Al Sharpton, left, and funeral director Isaiah Owens after the funeral service for her mother, restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods, at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Bedelia Woods leaves Grace Baptist Church in Mount
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Bedelia Woods leaves Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon after the funeral service for her mother, restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods. (July 25, 2012)

Former New York Mayor David Dinkins departs the
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Former New York Mayor David Dinkins departs the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

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Funeral director Isaiah Owens leads as the casket
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Funeral director Isaiah Owens leads as the casket holding Sylvia Woods is carried from Grace Baptist Church during the funeral service for the restaurateur and Harlem icon in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

The casket holding Sylvia Woods is carried from
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

The casket holding Sylvia Woods is carried from Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon during the funeral service for the restaurateur and Harlem icon. (July 25, 2012)

The body of Harlem icon Sylvia Woods awaits
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

The body of Harlem icon Sylvia Woods awaits transportation to Hemingway, S.C., where she will be buried. (July 25, 2012)

Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, speaks during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Former New York Mayor David Dinkins speaks during
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Former New York Mayor David Dinkins speaks during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

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The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during the funeral
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

A hand is raised in praise during the
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

A hand is raised in praise during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Flowers adorn the stairs to Grace Baptist Church
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Flowers adorn the stairs to Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods. (July 25, 2012)

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest D. Davis speaks during
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro Leslie Barbaro)

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest D. Davis speaks during the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Former Gov. David Paterson attends the funeral of
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Former Gov. David Paterson attends the funeral of restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

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A mourner holds a program for the funeral
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

A mourner holds a program for the funeral of restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Mourners arrive for the funeral of restaurateur and
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro Leslie Barbaro)

Mourners arrive for the funeral of restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

The Rev. Al Sharpton arrives for the funeral
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

The Rev. Al Sharpton arrives for the funeral of restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Tren'ness Woods-Black, right, arrives for the funeral of
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Tren'ness Woods-Black, right, arrives for the funeral of her grandmother, restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods, at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Tren'ness Woods-Black talks with the media as she
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Tren'ness Woods-Black talks with the media as she arrives for the funeral of her grandmother, restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods, at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

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Mourners arrive for the funeral of restaurateur and
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Mourners arrive for the funeral of restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Preparations begin for the funeral service for restaurateur
(Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

Preparations begin for the funeral service for restaurateur and Harlem icon Sylvia Woods at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. (July 25, 2012)

Flowers top the horse-drawn hearse carrying Sylvia Woods'
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Flowers top the horse-drawn hearse carrying Sylvia Woods' coffin after a memorial service at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

A woman touches the horse-drawn hearse carrying Sylvia
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

A woman touches the horse-drawn hearse carrying Sylvia Woods' coffin after a memorial service at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

A brass band plays outside the memorial service
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

A brass band plays outside the memorial service for Sylvia Woods at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

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Cooks from Sylvia's restaurant walk past a coffin
(Credit: AP)

Cooks from Sylvia's restaurant walk past a coffin bearing the body of Sylvia Woods before a public memorial service in Manhattan. Woods, founder of the famed Harlem soul food restaurant that bears her name, was remembered by her patrons and friends as a warm and welcoming trailblazer who turned her small eatery into a bustling city gem. (July 24, 2012)

Restaurant employees file past the coffin bearing the
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Restaurant employees file past the coffin bearing the body of Sylvia Woods at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

A mourner holds a program at the memorial
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

A mourner holds a program at the memorial service for Sylvia Woods at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

President Bill Clinton speaks at the memorial service
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

President Bill Clinton speaks at the memorial service for Sylvia Woods at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Manhattan. (July 24, 2012)

Messages from mourners are seen outside the Harlem
(Credit: Getty Images)

Messages from mourners are seen outside the Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, which bears the name of its famed restaurateur and founder, Sylvia Woods. (July 20, 2012)

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People take photographs in front of an image
(Credit: Getty Images)

People take photographs in front of an image of Sylvia Woods outside the Harlem restaurant she founded. Woods died on July 20. The soul food restaurant is a cultural icon and has been visited by dignitaries including U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. (July 20, 2012)

People walk outside Harlem restaurant Sylvia's after famed
(Credit: Getty Images)

People walk outside Harlem restaurant Sylvia's after famed restaurateur and founder Sylvia Woods died in Mount Vernon. (July 20, 2012)

A photograph of Sylvia Woods hangs behind the
(Credit: Getty Images)

A photograph of Sylvia Woods hangs behind the Rev. Al Sharpton and family members inside a section of Harlem restaurant Sylvia's after the death of famed restaurateur and founder Sylvia Woods. (July 20, 2012)

Melba Wilson, center, niece of famed restaurateur Sylvia
(Credit: Getty Images)

Melba Wilson, center, niece of famed restaurateur Sylvia Woods, hugs a well wisher outside Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem after Woods died in Mount Vernon. The Harlem soul food restaurant is a cultural icon and has been visited by dignitaries including U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. (July 20, 2012)

A mourner inscribes a message outside Harlem restaurant
(Credit: Getty Images)

A mourner inscribes a message outside Harlem restaurant Sylvia's after the death of famed restaurateur and founder Sylvia Woods. (July 20, 2012)

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Sylvia Woods, center, moves to the music outside
(Credit: AP)

Sylvia Woods, center, moves to the music outside her restaurant, Sylvia's, during the restaurant's 40th anniversary celebration in Harlem. Woods died in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Thursday, July 19, 2012. She was 86. (Aug. 1, 2002)

Self-described
(Credit: AP)

Self-described "Queen of Soul Food" Sylvia Woods, right, greets patron Carrie Haynes-Madsen at her restaurant, Sylvia's, in Harlem. Woods died in Mount Vernon on Thursday, July 19, 2012. She was 86. (Jan. 17, 1996)

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