Image: Jean Biden funeral
SUSAN WALSH  /  AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gather at the funeral of Jean Finnegan Biden at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., on Monday.
updated 1/12/2010 7:37:04 PM ET 2010-01-13T00:37:04

Jean Finnegan Biden, mother of Vice President Joe Biden, was remembered Tuesday as a strong-willed woman of unshakable faith who instilled a sense of loyalty and courage in her children.

The matriarch known to the Biden family as "Mom-Mom" died Friday at the age of 92 after a brief illness.

A crowd of about 700 people gathered in the sanctuary at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church for a funeral Mass. The guest list included President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, several Cabinet officials and members of Congress.

Biden thanked Obama for treating his mother "with warmth and personal affection."

"She believed in us, so we believe in ourselves. How could we do less?" he said. "... Mom taught us that courage was not defined by the lack of fear, but by the willingness to act in spite of your fears; that bravery lived in each of our hearts. And her expectation was that we would be summoned to reach for it when necessary."

Raised in a family with a strong Irish Catholic tradition, Jean Biden leaned on her faith in comforting Joe Biden after his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash in December 1972, the month after he was elected to the Senate. His two sons were seriously injured.

Biden said his mother, who was raised in Pennsylvania was fiercely protective.

"To mom, the greatest virtue was courage," he said. "She taught her children that the thickest of all substances was blood."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Jean Biden remembered

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    >>> right.

    >>> and jean finnegan biden was laid to rest today. the matriarch died last week at the age of 92. at her funeral home in delaware attended by some 700 people, including president obama , the vice president eulogized his mother as a courageous woman with a strong sense of faith and a lasting influence on her family.


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