Farewell to 'dean of the house' - John Dingell's Dearborn funeral

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The funeral for former Rep. John Dingell was held in his hometown of Dearborn, Mich. Tuesday after a slight delay due to wintery weather. 

The funeral began about 40 minutes behind schedule because of snow and icy roads. Police officers were shoveling snow outside the church and helping people inside.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the service honoring Dingell, who died Thursday at age 92.

Biden says Dingell was among the few people he looked up to and that he treated everyone with dignity, including during his record 59 years in Congress. 

Biden says Dingell "knew public service wasn't a title you wear but a shift you work."

About 800 other dignitaries, constituents and others attended, including Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Brenda Lawrence. A plane carrying a Congressional delegation was unable to land at DTW due to the weather, and had to turn back. 

Rep. Elissa Slotkin posted on Facebook that the weather prevented her and 70 others from attending the funeral. 

"After 40 minutes of circling DTW, we were forced to turn back," she wrote. "I am terribly sorry to not have been able to join my friend, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, on such an important day, but we will attend the funeral service in D.C. later this week."

Rep. Billy Long from Missouri tweeted that the group held an "impromptu service at 30,000 feet" for Dingell. 

Last week Dingell died at his home at age 92. Dingell served 59 years in the House, retiring at the end of 2014.

Former constituents and admirers lined up Monday at a performing arts center in Dearborn to pay their respects. Dingell's casket was in a ballroom while oversized photos of his life were displayed in the lobby.

Rep. Debbie Dingell, who was elected to her husband's seat in 2014, stayed to greet everyone throughout the day, after some private moments near the casket with former Rep. Candice Miller.

The visitation was the first of many public events this week. There will be a second funeral Mass on Thursday in Washington. A motorcade with Dingell's casket will pass the U.S. Capitol, where he held power for years as a House committee chairman. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Associated Press contributed to this report