Memphis, Tennessee. – Lisa Marie Presley, singer-songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley, was mentioned during Sunday’s memorial service as a loving mother and “old soul” who survived tragedy but stood firm as a rock as a dedicated protector of her father’s legacy. ‘n’ roll pioneer and pop icon.
On a grey, cold morning in Memphis, more than a thousand people gathered on the Graceland lawn to mourn the death and remember the life of Lisa Marie Presley, who died January 12 after being taken to a hospital in California.
Some mourners held flowers while waiting for the service to begin under tall trees on the lawn of Graceland, the Memphis home where Lisa Marie lived as a child with her father. The mansion owned by Lisa Marie Presley has been turned into a museum and tourist attraction, visited by hundreds of thousands of fans every year to honor the memory of Elvis, who died in 1977 at the age of 42.
On Sunday, a home in south Memphis was a place of sadness and dark memories. The service began with a performance of “Amazing Grace” by Jason Clarke and the Tennessee Mass Choir.
“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the love, compassion and support you have shown our family during this difficult time,” the Presley family said in a message written on the service’s program. “We will always be grateful.”
Those who spoke during the service included Lisa Marie’s mother, actress Priscilla Presley; Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York; Jerry Schilling, a close friend of Elvis; and former Memphis Mayor A. S. Wharton, who called Lisa Marie’s parents the royal couple of Memphis and “guide to the throne, keeper of the flame.”
In a soft voice, Priscilla Presley read a poem by one of Lisa Marie’s three daughters, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, entitled “Old Soul”, in which she calls her mother “an icon, a role model, a superhero for many people and everyone around the world.”
“In 1968, she entered our world, born tired, fragile, but strong. She was tender but full of life,” read Priscilla Presley. She always knew she wouldn’t be here long. Childhood passes by, with the gleam of her green eye. Then she started her own family.”
After reading the poem, Priscilla Presley said, “Our heart is broken. Lisa, we all love you.”
The service was accompanied by music. Billy Corgan, lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, played acoustic guitar and sang “To Sheila”; Alanis Morissette sang “Rest”; Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses played piano and sang “November Rain”; and The Blackwood Brothers Quartet performed two songs.
After the service, mourners walked through the Graceland Meditation Garden, where she was buried in an above-ground grave next to her son, Benjamin Keogh, who died in 2020, and her grandparents and great-grandmother.
Wreaths and bouquets of red, white, yellow and pink flowers lined the path to the grave and the tomb itself. The worshipers, some with tears in their eyes, walked slowly past the grave, stopping to pay their respects.
Jordan Clark, 25, traveled from Mobile, Alabama to attend the service. She called the ceremony special and touching. Clarke said that Lisa Marie had “been through a lot” in her life and equated the service with the time Elvis died when “people were coming from all over”.
“She was born into society, born into glory. Some people find it hard,” Clarke said. “She handled it like a champion. I think.”
Lisa Marie was 9 years old when her father died. She was living in Graceland at the time and recalled how he kissed her goodnight hours before his death. When she next saw him the next day, he was lying face down in the tub.
After her father’s death, she became the sole heir to the Elvis Presley Foundation, which, along with Elvis Presley Enterprises, managed Graceland and other assets until she sold a majority stake in 2005. these are things inside the house.
A spokesperson for Elvis Presley Enterprises told The Associated Press that the mansion is in a trust that will benefit her children. Along with Harper, she had two more daughters – Riley Keough and Finlay Aaron Love Lockwood.
Riley Keough, an actor, did not perform at the service. Her husband, Ben Smith-Petersen, read a statement in which she remembers Lisa Marie taking her for ice cream, bringing her tea sets from Cracker Barrel and leaving notes in her lunch box.
“Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humor, my manners, my temperament, my wildness, my tenacity,” Riley Keough said in a statement. “I am a product of your heart.”
Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.