Mourners celebrate the life of Nancy Reagan

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Close friends and family remembered Nancy Reagan as more than a first lady. (WPVI)

Close friends and family remembered Nancy Reagan as more than a first lady Friday, recalling at her funeral service how she and husband Ronald Reagan made up "two halves of a circle," with a love for one another that inspired everyone they crossed paths with.

Inseparable in life, the pair were to be reunited in death in side-by-side graves at the Reagan's presidential library.

PHOTOS: Funeral for Nancy Reagan

During a service filled with poignant and often humorous memories, each speaker came back to the couple's love story.

"When they were together, he hid love notes around the house for her to find," said Reagan's former chief of staff, James Baker. "She reciprocated by secreting little notes in jellybeans in his suitcase.

"Ronald and Nancy Reagan were defined by their love for each other," Baker added. "They were as close to being one person as it I possible for any two people to be."

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Former White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker reflects on the life of Nancy Reagan.

Reagan spoke in public so warmly, and so often, about his wife, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney recalled, that he once told Reagan he was making every other world leader look bad in front of their wives.

"Well, Brian," he said the president told him with a smile, "That's your problem."

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan read by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Mrs. Reagan, for her part, was her husband's chief protector. When former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw once questioned the hard-luck story of the president's early life, Brokaw recalled how she was so angry that Reagan's staff advised him to stay away from the White House until she calmed down.

Reagan didn't mind the criticism, Brokaw said, but his wife did.

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TV broadcaster Tom Brokaw shares memories of Nancy Reagan.

As speakers eulogized Mrs. Reagan to the 1,000 invited guests gathered in a tent behind the library, rain began to fall.

Among those in the front row were first lady Michelle Obama, who was seated next to former President George W. Bush. Hillary Clinton sat next to Bush's wife, Laura.

The sprawling, Spanish mission-style library is located between the Reagan's post-White House home in the upscale Bel Air section of Los Angeles and Rancho del Cielo, the "ranch in the sky" where the Reagans spent their leisure time, sometimes on horseback, in the rugged mountains near Santa Barbara.

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The casket carrying Nancy Reagan is carried into her funeral service in California.

Son Ron Prescott Reagan told the guests there likely would not have been a President Ronald Reagan without Nancy Reagan, saying she had an absolute belief in him, as well as provided guidance and a refuge.

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Ron Reagan, son of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, reflects on his mother's life.

Daughter Patti Davis described to mourners Friday how Nancy Reagan was adamant about reuniting with her husband, who died in 2004.

Davis described her parents as "two halves of a circle," recalling a long-ago memory of seeing the two of them sitting on a Southern California beach at sunset in what she called an impenetrable "island for two."

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Patti Davis, daughter of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, reflects on her mother's life.

Diane Sawyer also offered her memories of Nancy Reagan both in her role as a journalist, and as a friend.

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ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer delivers gospel reading at Nancy Reagan's funeral service.

On Wednesday and Thursday at the library, more than 5,500 mourners filed slowly past the former first lady's closed casket, blanketed with white roses and peonies, Mrs. Reagan's favorite flower.

Mrs. Reagan, who died Sunday at 94, planned the smallest details of her funeral. She selected the funeral's flower arrangements, the music to be played by a Marine Corps band and the list of guests invited to the private memorial.
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politicsu.s. & worldnancy reagan