Editor's note: The Mustang Owners Club of Southeast Michigan provided four 1965 Ford Mustangs for the funeral on Wednesday. The name of the club was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.
DETROIT -- Former colleagues, Ford Mustang owners, politicians and friends paid respects to Lee Iacocca and his family in suburban Detroit Tuesday and Wednesday and remembered how the former Ford president and Chrysler chairman and CEO provided strong leadership when it was needed most.
An engineer turned marketing genius, Iacocca conceived the Ford Mustang and stewarded Chrysler's unprecedented U.S. rescue in the1980s. Iacocca, a former president of Ford Motor Co. before taking the reins at Chrysler in the late 1970s, died July 2 at the age of 94.
Monsignor Anthony Tocco celebrated Iacocca during a funeral mass at St. Hugo of the Hills Church in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., on Wednesday.
“For decades, Lee’s feet and hands moved mountains,” Monsignor Howard Lincoln of Sacred Heart Church in Palm Desert, Calif., where Iacocca was a member, said during a eulogy.
“Lee always seemed to me to never really be down,” Lincoln said. “Somehow even at the darkest hours, I think he knew somehow even Chrysler would work out.”
Iacocca always loved a good cigar, Lincoln added.
Among those paying tribute at the funeral service were many former Chrysler executives from Iacocca's management team, including Jerry Greenwald, Hal Sperlich, Tom Denomme, Jim Tolley, Tom Pappert, Bud Liebler, Tom Sidlik, Bernard Robertson, Tom Gale, Bill O'Brien and Gary Valade.
"He always made time for his family," Iacocca's daughter, Kathryn "Kate" Hentz, said during the service. "We spoke every day . ... No matter what his business commitments were, he made it home for dinner."
Parker Hentz, Iacocca's grandson, said while his grandfather accomplished much throughout a storied automotive career, those successes weren't what his grandchildren remember. He shared fond memories of his grandfather eating black licorice and giving "the loudest Italian kisses on the lips."
"He worried about the people he loved a lot," Hentz said. "It was always like that: 'Do you need anything, or are you happy? Will you please call me when you get there?' This poured out from a high-powered business man."