Coretta Scott King in 1964
|Location||New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, Georgia, USA|
|Participants||George W. Bush|
George H. W. Bush
On January 30, 2006, Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., died after arriving at a rehabilitation center in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Her public funeral followed eight days later at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in her resident state of Georgia. In keeping with her personal wishes, King was buried next to her husband in a crypt on the grounds of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
King suffered strokes throughout the year 2005, and had different brushes with diseases, including a mild heart attack. The clinic that King received medical attention at was granted exposure by her death, though mostly negative, and ultimately was shut down. Prior to this, King was released from Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta after regaining some of her speech. Nearly two weeks later, King signed into the clinic in Mexico where she would ultimately die.
Coretta Scott King died late on the evening of January 30, 2006  at the rehabilitation center in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, In the Oasis Hospital where she was undergoing holistic therapy for her stroke and advanced stage ovarian cancer. The main cause of her death is believed to be respiratory failure due to complications from ovarian cancer. The clinic at which she died was called the Hospital Santa Monica, but was licensed as Clinica Santo Tomas. Newspaper reports indicated that it was not legally licensed to "perform surgery, take X-rays, perform laboratory work or run an internal pharmacy, all of which it was doing." It was also founded, owned, and operated by San Diego resident and highly controversial alternative medicine figure Kurt Donsbach. Days after King's death, the Baja California, Mexico, state medical commissioner, Francisco Vera, shut down the clinic. On February 1, 2006, King's body was flown from Mexico to Atlanta.
On February 4, 2006, King's body was carried by a horse-drawn carriage to Georgia State Capitol, where she was laid out in honor. She was the first African-American and female to do so. Over 16,000 mourners paid their respects to King as they filed past her casket.
Over 14,000 people gathered for Coretta Scott King's eight-hour funeral at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on February 7, 2006, where daughter Bernice King, who is an elder at the church, eulogized her mother. The megachurch, whose sanctuary seats 10,000, was better able to handle the expected massive crowds than Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which King was a member since the early 1960s and which was the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral in 1968.
U.S. Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and their wives attended, with the exception of former First Lady Barbara Bush who had a previous engagement. The Ford family was absent due to the illness of President Ford (who himself died later that year). George W. Bush canceled a previous arrangement to speak about the federal budget in Manchester, in order to attend the funeral. Numerous other prominent political and civil rights leaders, including then-U.S. senator Barack Obama, attended the televised service.
King was interred in a temporary mausoleum on the grounds of the King Center until a permanent place next to her husband's remains could be built. She had expressed to family members and others that she wanted her remains to lie next to her husband's at the King Center. On November 20, 2006, the new mausoleum containing both the bodies of Martin Luther and Coretta King was unveiled in front of friends and family. It is the third resting place of Martin Luther King Jr.
President Jimmy Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery provided funeral orations. With President George W. Bush seated a few feet away, Rev. Lowery, referencing Coretta's vocal opposition to the Iraq War, noted the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:
"She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. . . . We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew, and we knew, that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor."
President Carter, referencing Coretta's lifelong struggle for civil rights, noted that her family had been the target of secret government wiretapping. Their somewhat critical remarks about US government policy were met with thunderous applause and standing ovations.