Family, friends, fans pay respects to country music singer Patti Page

Page best known for 'The Tennessee Waltz'

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - More than 300 family members, friends and fans paid their respects Wednesday to singer Patti Page, a North County music legend best known for "The Tennessee Waltz."

Page died at an Encinitas nursing home last week at age 85. She had been set to receive a lifetime achievement honor at the Grammy Awards next month -- as was longtime Encinitas resident Ravi Shankar, an Indian sitar virtuoso who died Dec. 11, just one day before it was announced that his achievements would be recognized at the same event.

The service at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church attracted a standing-room only crowd that listened to songs and watched a video tribute to her life and career.

Page's manager told 10News it was one of the singer's lasts requests to have very little fanfare at her funeral. However, it was open to the public and a number of fans attended, including Encinitas resident Gloria DeRouen.

"Her music was just there all my life," said DeRouen. "I came as a total fan."

"It was thoughtful, somber, celebration of her life and her music," said Lynn Salsberg of Solana Beach, who saw Page perform a few years ago.

"The things people said about her just made her sound like a wonderful person all through her life," said DeRouen.

"Patti Page will be remembered long, forever," added Salsberg.

Carlie Davis, who also attended the service, said Page was very generous.

"She sponsored a concert to earn money to build the building at our church, and she also would donate to our school, Santa Fe Christian. She was very generous there, too," Davis told a local TV station.

Page, a four-decade resident of Rancho Santa Fe, sold more than 100 million records during her career and won a Grammy Award in 1999. She performed well into her 80s and volunteered with a nonprofit social services agency.

In September, she wrote a letter to her fans on her website, misspattipage.com, in which she said she was battling unspecified "severe medical challenges" that kept her from venturing beyond the North County area.

"Although I feel I still have the voice God gave me, physical impairments are preventing me from using that voice as I had for so many years," Page wrote. "It is only He who knows what the future holds."

Page, whose real name was Clara Ann Fowler, was born in Oklahoma in 1927. She signed with Mercury Records 21 years later after being discovered in Tulsa.

According to her biography, her first million-seller was "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming," recorded in 1950. "The Tennessee Waltz" was released one year later.

She made numerous guest appearances on television variety programs and headlined several shows of her own.

According to the Internet Movie Database, she was the adoptive mother of two children.

Page was buried at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego.

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