Crowds pack visitation for John Dingell in Dearborn

Debbie Dingell makes effort to greet everyone who stood in line

By Paula Tutman - Reporter, Natasha Dado

DEARBORN, Mich. - Hundreds of people attended the visitation for former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, of Michigan, on Monday at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. 

 Dingell died Thursday, Feb. 7 at the age of 92. 

 He was the longest serving member of Congress on record and represented Michigan for 59 years. 

Many people stood outside in the cold, waiting in long lines to get inside the auditorium, where Dingell's casket was on display. 

Dingell's wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, took the time and effort needed to greet, hug and shake hands with every person who was in line.

People who attended discussed the impact of Dingell's work over the decades. Dingell's district covered the city of Dearborn. The city is home to one of the largest concentrations of Arab-Americans in the country and has a large Muslim-American population. 

MD Alam, a local Muslim man who attended the visitation, said Dingell stood with the Muslim community at a time of hardship and challenge. "John was there," Alam said.  

Those in attendance expressed their condolences to Debbie Dingell. 

Debbie Dingell with former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at the public visitation for her husband, John Dingell, on Feb. 11, 2019, in Dearborn. (WDIV)


After her husband's retirement, Debbie Dingell succeeded him and now represents Michigan's 12th Congressional District, carrying on the family's longstanding legacy in Michigan politics. 

Dignitaries, politicians and community leaders attended the visitation.  

Cindy Hanes Berry worked in John Dingell's office for 23 years. 

“Even though he was powerful, he was very humble,” said Berry. 

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IMAGES: Public visitation for John Dingell in Dearborn

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