A special hearse transported Aretha Franklin

Eloise Marshall
August 31, 2018

On the museum grounds, a DJ mixed in Aretha's greatest hits, museum personnel passed out free water, and fans took pictures of the pink Cadillac and the white banner affixed to the front of the museum that read, "Honoring the Queen of Soul and global Detroit treasure". Indeed, a group of women were singing her hit "Freeway of Love".

Her accomplishments and musical contributions are those that will not be forgotten.

The vehicle that carried Franklin's body Tuesday also transported civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2005 and Temptations singer David Ruffin in 1991.

"What you see with her is what you get", Owens said.

One of those fans, Cheryl Matthews, never met Franklin but felt close - and hurt by the loss. But even then the Queen of Soul made a big impression on Thimes, who is now an accomplished vocalist herself. She said she couldn't miss today's services. "Numerous people you see are here because they were blessed by her big heart and her desire to reach beyond the boundaries of her own success and touch others". "She did so much for this community". The lone, surviving original member of the quartet said he and his bandmates shared a special bond with Franklin on stages and in studios over the decades. "It's a great opportunity for fellowship".

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Owens said she began planning for this week's festivities earlier this year.

In a final act of sisterhood, hundreds of members of Delta Sigma Theta have paid tribute to their soror, Aretha Franklin on Tuesday night. A police K-9 unit inspected around the entrance to the museum and parking was tight along the road. But the mood was festive with people sharing memories of Franklin. Her brother, Timothy Robinson, lives in Eastpointe and came with her about 9 p.m. Monday to get a good spot in line.

"The voice on the other end asked to speak with me, and I very begrudgingly said, 'Speaking, ' because I thought it was a telemarketer", Thimes said. "I loved to play her songs".

It's hard to separate the singer from the city, so you better think that her town is saying farewell in royal fashion to its Queen of Soul, with a concert, public viewings and a funeral that's expected to be attended by at least one former president, civil rights leaders and many other musical luminaries.

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