By Sophia Hall

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A parade of dignitaries came out to pay their respects to Geraldine Ferraro Thursday at a private service at the Church Of Saint Vincent Ferrer on the Upper East Side.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Dignitaries Remember Geraldine Ferraro

ferraro funeral sff Geraldine Ferraro Remembered As Trailblazer, Icon At Manhattan Funeral

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for the funeral mass for former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, Thursday, March 31, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

The former Queens congresswoman died over the weekend at the age of 75  after a long battle with a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale, who chose her as his Democratic running mate when he ran for president in 1984, was among the mourners Thursday. She was the first woman to run for that post on a major-party ticket.

Mondale praised Ferraro for inspiring other women to run for office. He noted that there are now six women governors, 88 women in the House and 17 women in the Senate, compared to just one in 1984.

“It wasn’t just politics that was reset. Change can be seen everywhere in American life,” Mondale said, adding that her experience as the first woman vice presidential candidate had given Ferraro strength she would later use in her 12-year cancer battle.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports from the funeral

“Every day she was patronized in a way not experienced by her male counterparts,” he said. “But she would not relent. She came back each day tougher and better.”

Dignitaries included former President Bill Clinton; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

“The one thing Geraldine said…that sticks with me still the most is that it’s not what America can do for women, it’s what women can do for America.  And that’s truly the legacy she leaves behind,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said.

“I will carry her always in my heart. I loved her dearly. She was a dear, dear friend,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said.

Also attending were Gov. Andrew Cuomo; his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo; and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Ferraro was married for 50 years to John Zaccaro, a New York real estate developer. They had eight grandchildren.

The 2 1/2 hour ceremony was closed to the media, but attendees described it as a warm, loving celebration of Ferraro’s life.

“It was one of the most beautiful services I have ever seen,” Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas said.

Ferraro’s family asked that donations be made to several charities including two myeloma research foundations.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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