Mourners gather to remember Ivana Trump, first wife of former president

Mourners filled New York City’s St. Vincent Ferrer Church on Wednesday to remember Ivana Trump, first wife of Donald Trump, who is partly credited with elevating the businessman’s profile to a status that helped pave the way for his presidency.

“A very sad day, but at the same time a celebration of a wonderful and beautiful life,” the former president wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform. He attended the funeral at the Catholic church with his current wife, former first lady Melania Trump.

After Secret Service agents checked bags and scanned guests outside the Manhattan church, attendees entered the building to pay their respects to the woman who coined the nickname “The Donald.”

Donald and Ivana Trump’s children — Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric — and their spouses and significant others were in attendance. Also present was Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples, and their daughter, Tiffany; as was Trump’s third son, Barron, whose mother is Melania.

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and real estate developer Charles Kushner, father of Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, also attended.

Donald and Ivana Trump rose to prominence in the 1980s, frequent headliners on New York social pages. Besides being married, they were also business partners; she helped managed some of the Trump hotels and casinos. Their divorce in 1992 was spread across the front of city’s tabloids.

Ivana Trump died last week in her Upper East Side home after an accident that left “blunt impact injuries” to her torso. She was 73.

Her ambition and commitment to being seen in a city where competition for the spotlight is vast are partly credited with introducing millions to her ex-husband, then a real estate developer who sometimes waded into local and national politics.

Together, they worked on projects like Fifth Avenue’s Trump Tower and collaborated on their well-publicized casino endeavors in Atlantic City.

A native of Czechoslovakia, Ivana, an avid skier, immigrated to Canada in the 1970s where she worked as a ski instructor and model. While in New York City in 1976, Ivana Trump met Donald and married him the following year. She was the mother of this three eldest children, whom she wrote about in her 2017 memoir, “Raising Trump.”

“It wasn’t easy to raise three kids as a full-time working mother, even with nannies,” she wrote.