Memorial service honours Detroit icon Ilitch

DETROIT MI- OCTOBER 18  Manager Jim Leyland team owner Mike Ilitch and General Manager Dave Dombrowski of the Detroit Tigers celebrate with the American League Championship trophy after the Tigers won 8-1 against the New York Yankees during game

Ilitch contacted Parks' friends, Judge Damon Keith and developer Alfred Taubman, and offered to pay her rent as long as necessary. Seven years after she moved to Detroit, Parks became a deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).

Parks was at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement after refusing to move to the back of a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955. "I" was put on the sleeves of the Red Wings players. Keith credited the city's economic resurgence after years of bankruptcy and rampant foreclosure to the couple.

"I have been fortunate to work with a lot of extraordinary, successful and wealthy people", Wilson said.

Parks was sacked from her job as a seamstress in a Montgomery department store and moved to Detroit. "That's what made him the man that he is".

Ilitch died last Friday at the age of 87 and Wednesday's contest against the Blues was the first home game for the team since his death.

"Just going through the Fox Theatre today - you look and say 'he did this and preserved it.' It's such a magnificent place".

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"Our goalies are winning games for us, but we've also really focused on defense since Mike took over", St. Louis defenseman Joel Edmundson said.

Visitors pass the Fox Theatre during a public visitation for Detroit Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch in Detroit on February 15, 2017.

For the last decade of her life, a Civil Rights icon from Detroit had her rent quietly paid in full every month by Mike Ilitch.

As for his reputation as a charitable man, Agius said Ilitch supported many causes, and would often give small gifts, like t-shirts or autographed baseballs, to total strangers. A visitation pamphlet expressed gratitude from the family, as well as quotes from Ilitch that embodied his view of the city.

'They kept pushing Detroit, and had it not been for them, I am saying, Detroit would not be in the renaissance that they're in now'.

The lobby of his famous theatre was opened from noon until 8 allow people to view his body in repose and pay their respects.

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