UPDATE: Biden says Dingell treated everyone with dignity

By  | 

DEARBORN, Mich. (WILX) -- The funeral for former Congressman John Dingell was delayed on Tuesday due to inclement weather after a snowstorm covered Michigan overnight.

The service began at 11:30 a.m. from Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn.

Former Vice President Joe Biden offered remarks at the funeral for Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.

Biden said longtime Michigan Rep. John Dingell believed that having a job meant more than just collecting a paycheck. It was about dignity.

About 800 dignitaries, constituents and others attended the service at a church in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

Biden said Dingel was among the few people he looked up to and that he treated everyone with dignity, including during his record 59 years in Congress. Biden said Dingell "knew public service wasn't a title you wear but a shift you work."

He opened by saying, "Bless me father, for I'm about to sin," to a church full of laughter. And although Biden said that Dingell was better than him at everything, and told many jokes, he also commended John for his years of service to his country.

He talked of his commitment to important political issues like medicaid and civil rights.

He reminded everyone a famous quote of John Dingell's, "You are the light...never let anyone diminish your light."

Biden ended his remarks by asking God to bless Debbie Dingell and the Dingell family. Then he said, "God bless you and may God protect our troops."

Dingell died at his home at age 92 on Feb. 7.

The Michigan Democrat served 59 years in the House, retiring at the end of 2014.

Former constituents and admirers lined up Monday at a performing arts center in Dearborn to pay their respects during a day-long visitation. Dingell's casket was in a ballroom while oversized photos of his life were displayed in the lobby.

Rep. Debbie Dingell stayed to greet everyone throughout the day. She was elected to her husband's seat in 2014.

There will be a second funeral Mass on Thursday in Washington.

You can watch Dingell's funeral in Dearborn on the WILX app and WILX.com with link below.