800 mourners attend Pat Fordice funeral

Hundreds attended former Mississippi first lady Pat Fordice's funeral Monday at a United Methodist Church in downtown Jackson.

Two children and a grandchild evoked laughter and tears from the 800 mourners during the funeral.

Her closed casket was covered in white roses, and a portrait of her smiling in a pink dress was placed nearby.

Fordice's daughter, Angie Roselle of Vicksburg, told mourners that her mother wasn't afraid to die.

The funeral was held at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church in downtown Jackson.

Fordice died this past Thursday at her home in Madison after having undergone months of treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer. She was 72.

Her then-husband, Kirk Fordice, was a blunt-spoken Vicksburg contractor who unseated Democrat Ray Mabus in November 1991 to become Mississippi's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. As first lady from January 1992 to January 2000, Pat Fordice embraced programs promoting the arts, literacy and highway beautification.

The Fordices divorced in 2000, shortly after leaving the Governor's Mansion. Kirk Fordice died in 2004.