February 21, 1970: Colette, Kimberley and Kristen's caskets being carried into the John F. Kennedy Center Chapel.
According to Freddy Kassab, "MacDonald signed a release, a Power of Attorney, or something along this line, so that I could take possession of the bodies from the army base and take them down town and arrange for funeral arrangements, coffins, and stuff like that. I did. I went down and made the arrangements and I instructed the mortician or whoever runs the place that I wanted the caskets kept closed and he said to me at the time, 'If you want them opened, it can be arranged.' And I said, 'No, I don't want them opened.' And, of course, I went back and told Jeff that I had made the arrangements
and that I had asked that the caskets be kept closed. For some unknown reason this upset him.
He wanted the caskets opened even though he wasn't going to be there. And I said, 'No, the funeral director said it can't be left opened.' It was a white lie, but that's the way Mildred wanted it and that's the way I wanted it. We figured we didn't want—we were strangers in that area. Nobody knew us. We saw no reason for the caskets being in a funeral parlor at a public place with all the notoriety involved; why there should be
people trespassing in and out of there like Grand Central Station. So then the Army approached us on having a funeral service.
"We asked that it be a completely private one with only the MacDonald family and ourselves and our son and daughter-in-law. And Jeff was very upset about this. He wanted it to be a big funeral. So we compromised by saying just his immediate
company, not battalion, but company, a small group of men and we would consent
to it on the provision that the Army guarantee us that they would not allow
newspaper reporters, photographers anywhere near the church, which they did.
So we had the services and then that was on a Saturday and Sunday we took them
back to Long Island to be buried in our family cemetery plot."