PEOPLE – Ivana Trump remembered as ‘force of nature’ at funeral in New York

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Ivana Trump, the first wife of ex-President Donald Trump and the mother of three of his children, was remembered as a “force of nature” at her funeral here Wednesday.

The 73-year-old Czech-American died of injuries suffered in a fall down a flight of stairs last week in Manhattan.

Among those paying their last respects at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan were the ex-president; their three children – Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka – and several other members of the Trump clan, including the current wife of the New York magnate, Melania; their son Barron; and Tiffany, the daughter of the ex-president’s second wife, Marla Maples.

Several of the attendees took the microphone during the ceremony to remember the businesswoman, media personality, fashion designer and model, who was born Ivana Marie Zelnickova in 1949, emigrated from Czechoslovakia to North America in the early 1970s and married Trump in 1977.

The two attracted regular media attention as one of the most glamorous New York City jet-set couples of that era.

“She had brains; she had beauty. She was the embodiment of the American dream. She was a force of nature, could beat any man down the (ski) slopes, any woman on the runway,” the New York Post quoted Eric, the couple’s third child, as saying at the funeral. “She ruled the three of us (kids) with an iron fist but also a heart of gold.”

Their marriage ended in 1992 amid revelations that Donald Trump was having an affair with Maples, who became his second wife a year later.

Ivana, who decided to keep her married name, enjoyed great success in business following the divorce, launching clothing, jewelry and beauty-product lines and writing several books.

She died last Thursday of “blunt impact injuries” to the torso after falling down the stairs at her home in Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side neighborhood. EFE