A memorial service was held for Barbara Sinatra at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Tuesday. (August 1, 2017)
Richard Lui/The Desert Sun
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Barbara Sinatra was memorialized Tuesday at a crowded funeral in Palm Desert, where celebrities and local friends alike remembered her generosity and charisma.
Sinatra’s casket, piled high with white and peach roses, entered Sacred Heart Catholic Church shortly after 2 p.m. PT. Matching roses formed a cross and a heart on either side of the altar.
Sinatra gained prominence as “Lady Blue Eyes,” singer Frank Sinatra’s wife, and then developed her own legacy helping victims of child abuse. She died July 25 at her Rancho Mirage home at 90 years old.
She was married to Frank Sinatra for almost 22 years — longer than any of his previous marriages. And Sinatra used her husband’s fund-raising clout to build the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center to help abused children at Eisenhower Medical Center.
Many celebrities who attended the funeral met at golf tournaments and galas to raise money for the Children’s Center. They visited in the lobby of the church before the funeral began, renewing old relationships and, perhaps, realizing they might never meet again — because there will be no more Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational golf tournaments and galas.
Actor and former professional baseball player Michael Dante stood beside former NFL quarterback Vince Ferragamo, who led the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl in 1980. They reminisced about how many tournaments they’d won.
“The best thing about this,” said Dante, nodding to Ferragamo, “is getting to see guys like this and getting to be around them again. There were so many great guys at that tournament.”
Dante said of all the participants in the Sinatra tournament and galas, “It became family. We all had a commonality. We knew what she (Barbara) was for and what had taken place at the center. Most of us had visited the center. It was a work of love.”
Tom Dreesen, the comic who used to open for Frank…