Las Vegas Service For Liberace

Posted: February 13, 1987

Fans, family and the famous bade farewell to Liberace yesterday at a funeral service in Las Vegas, tearfully singing his theme song, "I'll Be Seeing You," at a church near the glittering Strip where he performed for five decades. More than 1,000 people, including Rich Little, Debbie Reynolds, Robert Goulet and Donald O'Connor, crowded into St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church.

"He loved his work, he loved his audiences and they knew it," Goulet said in the eulogy. "His entertaining was his way of returning to the people the gift that was given to him."

The crowd included Liberace's sister Angie, and his sister-in-law, Dora Liberace. Liberace died last week at his Palm Springs, Calif., home.

The Rev. John McVeigh, pastor of the church, told the mourners that Liberace "had his final appearance" when he stood in the sight of God last week. "There were no bright lights, no critics," said Father McVeigh. "We pray that a God who is loving, who is peaceful, who is just, will be kind and accepting."

PAT NIXON OK

Pat Nixon, 74, had a small cancerous tumor removed from her mouth Monday, and the prognosis was "excellent," so she was to be released from Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital yesterday, a spokeswoman said. Her husband, former President Richard M. Nixon, has been visiting her regularly since she was admitted to the hospital Monday.

NATIVE SON

The actor who portrayed Cambodian journalist Dith Pran in the film The Killing Fields said yesterday that he planned to organize an emergency medical supply relay from Thailand to people who are suffering in Cambodia. Haing S. Ngor, who worked as a physician in Phnom Penh until 1975, said he was seeking $300,000 to train Cambodian refugees in Thailand to carry medical supplies across the border to camps in their native country. Cambodia "is lacking everything. The Vietnamese are intercepting all medical supplies," he said.

NO HARM INTENDED

Bela Mark Stifter, 27, meant no harm to anyone when he charged Kensington Palace and attacked police with a knife and a hammer in the garden in the wee hours Wednesday.

No, no, Stifter meant no harm to Prince Charles or Princess Diana, the future king and queen, or any of the 16 members of the royal household who were getting their royal rest, his lawyer, Stephen Dawson, said. No harm intended to the titled tots Prince William and Prince Harry, or to Princess Michael of Kent or to the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who were in their apartments in the 17th-century red-brick palace during the incident. No harm to the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, who was vacationing on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

Stifter didn't even want to hurt the non-royalty, Dawson said.

All he wanted, his lawyer said, was to protest unemployment in Britain. Three million people there are jobless, including Stifter. Stifter appeared in court yesterday on charges of being equipped for theft and causing bodily harm to two officers. Horseferry Road magistrate Charles Davidson ordered Stifter held until his next court appearance on Thursday and asked for a medical report on him.

VON BULOW BATTLE

Andrea Reynolds said yesterday that she would ask the Supreme Court to block a court ruling that she must turn over the manuscript of her book about her relationship with Claus von Bulow.

A federal appeals court in New York ruled Tuesday that Reynolds could be held in contempt and fined $500 a day until she releases a copy of the book to von Bulow's stepchildren, Alexander von Auersperg and Annie-Laurie Kneissl. The two are suing von Bulow for $56 million in a civil case in which they accuse him of causing their mother's irreversible coma.

Von Bulow was convicted in 1982 of trying to murder his wife, Martha ''Sunny" von Bulow, in 1980, but the Rhode Island Supreme Court overturned the verdict on constitutional grounds. The Danish socialite was acquitted in his 1985 retrial.

'CLIPPER' SETS SAIL

Former New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio was discharged from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach yesterday after undergoing heart surgery twice last week. DiMaggio, known as the Yankee Clipper, was released about 10:15 a.m. and told well-wishers he felt fine.

Mount Sinai's chief of cardiology, Philip Samet, said the Hall of Famer entered the hospital Feb. 3, suffering from fatigue. He was diagnosed as having arrhythmia, an irregular heart rate. Samet recommended that DiMaggio, 72, receive a pacemaker. On Feb. 5, a permanent pacemaker was implanted after a temporary one had been installed two days earlier. "He's in excellent condition," Samet said. "I hope I'm in as good condition as he is at 72."

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