Fans pay respects for Mike Ilitch at public viewing - WNEM TV 5

Fans pay respects for Mike Ilitch at public viewing

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People from across the state gathered Wednesday to pay their final respects to a legendary Detroit businessman and philanthropist. 

Mike Ilitch laid in repose for a public visitation Wednesday at Fox Theatre in Detroit.

The billionaire businessman, who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire and bought the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, died Friday. He was 87.

Ilitch's visitation was from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

"I worked for him for a couple years. So I thought it was nice to come down and pay respect. The family was there which was absolutely awesome. You know? You can actually feel like you actually paid your respects to Chris and his family," said Ricky Pister.

A public memorial display was also set up at Comerica Park earlier this week that allows fans to leave messages and memories. 

Ilitch's family released a statement saying the "condolences and kind wishes" have been overwhelming.

"We know that he would've been touched by the outpouring of support, especially from this community that he so loved," the statement said. 

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