SCRANTON — The current and former Pennsylvania governors, a U.S. senator, and former U.S. ambassadors are among the dignitaries expected in Scranton this week for Governor William Scranton’s memorial service.
Hundreds of people from Scranton’s namesake city are expected to be there as well.
William Scranton died last month in California at the age of 96. A spokesperson for the former governor’s family says it was Scranton’s wish to have his memorial service in Scranton and have it open to the public.
The staff at Covenant Presbyterian on Madison Avenue has been working hard to prepare the church, and on Monday city and federal law enforcement were there securing the place for all the dignitaries that are expected.
Covenant Presbyterian Church is set on Madison Avenue in the hill section of the city William Scranton’s family founded.
The former congressman, governor, ambassador, and presidential candidate took a lot of pride in his hometown and in his home church.
Staff members at Covenant Presbyterian remembered how he would compliment their handiwork as they were preparing the church grounds for Governor Scranton’s memorial service. They expect hundreds to come Wednesday morning to say goodbye.
“If Bill Scranton were alive and knew that, I think he would say, ‘what are you doing all this for?’ He was such a humble, faithful man he probably wouldn’t want us to go through all this for him,” said Steve Carter of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Inside the church, a newly-restored organ is being tuned in a fitting tribute; it’ll be played for the first time during Wednesday’s service.
Outside, Madison Avenue and Olive Street, that have long been on city’s paving list, were being resurfaced just in time and a team of city, state, and federal law enforcement officers were circling the church, coming up with a plan for a crowd that Covenant Presbyterian has never seen before.
“We have to think of the seriousness of what we’re doing, and if the public is inconvenienced it’s unfortunate, but it’s just part of it when dignitaries come to the city,” said Scranton Police Captain Glenn Thomas.
Police made plans to block streets, and secure entrances to the church since, a family spokesman says, many current and former state officials are expected at Wednesday’s service, along with former U.S. ambassadors, and former White House officials.
But William Scranton made sure to include the people of the city he so loved. A family spokesperson says it was Scranton’s wish to have his service open to the public.
Governor William Scranton’s memorial service is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Madison Avenue in Scranton. The service will be broadcast live on WVIA-FM radio and we will have coverage later on Newswatch 16.