Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca remembered for being a courteous family man

Light of truth

Family and friends gathered on July 10 morning to pay tribute to famed auto executive Lee Iacocca.

Iacocca died recently at his home in Bel Air, California. He was 94.

The funeral mass, which took place at  St Hugo of the Hills Church in Bloomfield Hills, was celebrated by Monsignor Anthony Tocco.

Among the readings during the funeral service was “The souls of the just are in the hands of God” from the Book of Wisdom and “if I have all the eloquence of men or of angels but speak without love I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing” from the First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.

The eulogy was delivered by Monsignor Howard Lincoln of Sacred Heart Church in Palm Desert, California, where Iacocca was a member of the parish.

“For decades, Lee’s feet and hands moved mountains,” Lincoln told those at the service. “Lee always seemed to me to never really be down,” he continued. “Somehow, even at the darkest hours, I think he knew somehow even Chrysler would work out.”

Lincoln continued, “Lee knew that this life was his once in a lifetime opportunity and he wanted his life to matter… He was an elevating influence for our parish. I think he saw the importance of being kind and courteous to everybody… ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I’ve had a wonderful and successful career but next to my family, it doesn’t matter at all.’”

After remarks by family members recalling Iacocca’s love of Christmas and family gatherings, the service concluded with the hymn “How Great Thou Art” with its refrain “Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, how great Thou art! How great Thou art!”

During the height of his    career in the 1980s, Iacocca was arguably the most popular business figure in the world. Pictures of him, often with his trademark cigar, were on magazine covers and TV screens.

During his career, he was credited both with creating the iconic Ford Mustang and, later, for persuading Congress to bail out a bankruptcy Chrysler in the late 1970s.

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