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Gordie Howe’s toughness, generosity emphasized at funeral

Pallbearers carry the casket out of the cathedral

Pallbearers carry the casket out of the cathedral at the funeral for late hockey legend Gordie Howe in Detroit, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Nathan Denette

DETROIT — Hundreds of people, including Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Gary Bettman, bid farewell to Gordie Howe at a packed, two-hour funeral service in Detroit.

Gordie Howe’s son, Murray, began the service with a eulogy Wednesday that emphasized his father’s toughness and generosity. The service was held at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, about six miles from the home of Howe’s longtime team, the Detroit Red Wings.

Dozens of fans stood in line a couple hours before the funeral, which was streamed online by the Red Wings. The cathedral, which hosted Pope John Paul II in 1987, has a capacity of about 900.

Murray Howe has said his father’s remains will be cremated. The family requested donations be made to the Gordie Howe Traumatic Brain Injury Initiative, the Howe Foundation or the Gordie Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s Research.

New York Sports