The passing of Ivana Trump, 73, has saddened those who knew her and had followed her life.
The Czech-born champion skier, model, businesswoman, and immigrant to the United States was and is a fierce reminder of determination and perseverance in life, as well as beauty, style, and joy of life.
Having been found deceased on Thursday in her Manhattan townhouse, her body was discovered at the bottom of a staircase and the New York City medical examiner ruled that she died of “blunt impact injuries” to her torso.
“She was born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Zlin, a factory town in then-Communist Czechoslovakia; she was the only child of Marie, a telephone operator, and Milos, an engineer who died in 1990. Ivana skied competitively as a child and was a national ski team member, and the sport provided the metaphor that ruled her life,” People magazine reported.
In her interview with the magazine, Ivana reflected on how skiing had developed in her a reliance on herself.
“When you are going down a mountain at 80 miles an hour, you cannot count on Mama or Papa,” she previously told PEOPLE. “You have to count only on Ivana.”
She met and married Donald Trump in 1977 in New York.
Together they were a well-sought-out power couple in the 1980s.
“Though her high-profile marriage to the former president catapulted her into the limelight in the late ’70s, Ivana was much more than just Mrs. Trump – she was a savvy businesswoman, an athlete, a writer, multifaceted clothing and jewelry designer, and above all, a proud mother adored by her children,” People Magazine stated.
The pair divorced in 1992, and other marriages followed for both.
Ivana and Donald stayed close as they share their beloved children, Donald Trump Jr., 44, Ivanka Trump, 40, and Eric Trump, 38.
Ivana Trump stayed fiercely independent and was successful in her own endeavors until the end of her life.
Ivana Trump’s funeral is held today at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church in New York City, with Donald Trump and the couple’s three children — Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. — expected to attend.
As the public reflects on the Trump family loss, and Ivana’s life, speculation as to the beneficiaries has risen.
Of course, there are her beloved children and others in her life.
Reflections from those in her daily walk express love and concern for her.
Atilla Cetin, general manager at the Italian restaurant Nello, a block from the Upper East Side townhouse, made a sad statement to the press.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘She was so wonderful. [To us] she was our First Lady. Even when she was walking to the restaurant and people would want to take a picture with her or talk to her, she never refused anyone. She was always so polite, so amazing.’
Cetin said he had walked past her apartment on Wednesday and briefly thought about checking in on her, but ultimately did not.
And certainly, her former husband and father of her children lamented her tragic death on Trump’s Truth Social.
“I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City. She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life,” he articulated. “Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!”
But in addition to her family, there was a loved one who was with her at the end, according to speculation being bandied about online.
According to RadarOnline. her constant companion Tiger was in her heart, and “millions” had been set aside in Ivana Trump’s will for the care of her dog.
“Tiger was her best friend. She loved that dog,” RadarOnline said it was told by a family insider. “Tiger was always getting under her feet and snapping at everyone but her. Ivana didn’t care.”
The dog is currently living with one of Ivana Trump’s assistants.
“Tiger was all she had. She died a single woman. Her children were grown up — and she would have been totally alone if not for Tiger. I wouldn’t be surprised if she left millions in her will to Tiger,” the source said.
“She loved animals more than people.”
Ivana Trump’s will has not been made public, Western Journal noted.
As Ivana Trump’s Wednesday funeral approached, guests were asked not to bring flowers but to donate to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a Florida-based nonprofit, People reported.
The rescue published a tribute to Ivana Trump on its website:
“Ivana Trump was an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend. Ivana Trump was a survivor. She fled from communism and embraced this country. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination,” the statement said. “Ivana was philanthropically involved with many charities throughout her entire life, but always remained steadfast and passionate in her love for animals.”