After deciding earlier to have the funeral service for Kate Smith in North Carolina and her burial at Fort Lincoln Cemetery here, where her parents are buried, her family has changed the plans. The funeral mass for the beloved singer, who died Tuesday at 79, will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in St. Matthew's Cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue with burial in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Smith's nephew and niece Bob and Suzanne Andron said the change occurred because a letter was found in which Smith indicated she wanted to be buried in a cemetery at Lake Placid's Camp Sunshine, a camp she once owned. "We decided to have her funeral in Washington because that's where she grew up and where her patriotic spirit was formed," said Bob Andron. "We hope a number of people will attend her funeral and will come to the visitation at Gawler's funeral home." The wake will be at the mortuary today from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
Andron said his aunt, who will always be identified with her powerful rendition of "God Bless America," often talked about growing up two blocks from the Capitol at Third and Constitution Avenue NW. She attended Chester A. Arthur Elementary School and Business High School here, as well as briefly studying nursing at George Washington University Hospital. Her nephew said she told her family that her patriotism stemmed from seeing William Howard Taft's inauguration parade and the inaugurations of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. End Notes
Frank Sinatra, along with a group of powerful business and social leaders, is organizing a June 24 dinner dance at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City where former ambassador to Great Britain Walter H. Annenberg will receive B'nai B'rith's highest award, the Gold Medallion for Humanitarianism. Annenberg will be honored for his years of effort to improve the quality of life in both the United States and Israel. Among those joining Sinatra are Brooke R. Astor of the Vincent Astor Foundation; Charles Brown, chairman of AT&T; columnist William Buckley; Armand Hammer, head of Occidental Petroleum; Alan Greenspan, former economic adviser to President Richard Nixon; Harris L. Katleman, head of 20th Century Fox Television; William S. Paley, founder of CBS; David Rockefeller; Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times; and Elie Wiesel, author and Holocaust Memorial Council chairman . . .
Superstar Mickey Rooney was scheduled to join Rep. Claude Pepper and other elderly witnesses in testifying before the Senate Special Committee on Aging yesterday, but he didn't come. A spokesman for the 66-year-old entertainer said Rooney was on his way when mechanical trouble forced his plane to return to Los Angeles. Rooney viewed that as "an omen from God" and decided not to get on another plane . . .
Hospital Report: Vincente Minnelli, one of Hollywood's best known directors, is in serious condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with respiratory problems. A hospital spokesman said yesterday that Minnelli, the director of more than 25 movies -- including such noted musicals as "An American in Paris," "Kismet" and "Gigi," for which he won an Oscar as best director -- has been in and out of the hospital frequently over the past several months. He is in the intensive care unit. His daughter, singer Liza Minnelli, canceled a concert series in Indianapolis to be at her father's side . . .
More than 300 people showed up at the Phillips Collection Wednesday night for a reception to kick off an $8 million National Public Radio "Fanfare Campaign for the Arts" to develop arts programs for NPR. Among the guests were actor Eddie Albert, jazz musician Dave Brubeck, former director of the Washington Performing Arts Society Patrick Hayes, former senator Floyd Haskell and Democratic Party fundraiser Esther Coopersmith . . .
Comedian Joan Rivers underwent surgery yesterday for a hysterectomy and a tummy tuck. She decided to have both procedures done at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said her spokesman, Richard Grant. He would not disclose the reason for the hysterectomy, but added that the tummy tuck will help eradicate the hysterectomy scar. "She figured as long as she's under and having it done, she might as well beautify America," Grant said. Rivers is expected to remain in the hospital for about a week.