Gordie Howe’s visitation, funeral open to public

From the Free Press:

Murray Howe told the Free Press today his father’s funeral and visitation will be open to the public.

Visitation will be held 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 9844 Woodward Ave., in Detroit.

Large crowds are anticipated to bid farewell to arguably the greatest athlete in Detroit’s history. Howe spent 25 of his 26 NHL campaigns wearing the winged wheel, and holds a number of the franchise’s records — including most games played, goals and points.

In 1972, the Red Wings hoisted Howe’s No. 9 into the Joe Louis rafters. In 2007, the club erected a 1,500-pound bronze statue in his likeness and, last year, then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor would be named after Howe.

The Howe ceremony is reminiscent of what the Montreal Canadiens held in the wake of Jean Beliveau’s passing in 2014. The Habs conducted a public visitation at the Bell Centre prior to Beliveau’s funeral.

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