Keith, himself an important legal figure in the civil rights movement, worked to find Parks a new, safer apartment at the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit, according to the Sports Business Daily.
Across the street from the Fox Theatre outside Comerica Park where the Tigers play, a photo montage of Ilitch was set up where people could sign their names and pay tribute.
In 1955, Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, was a defining moment in the fight against segregation.
C'mon Red Wings, make Mr. Ilitch proud again. Keith credited the city's economic resurgence after years of bankruptcy and rampant foreclosure to the couple.
"As hard as it is to lose your husband or your father or your grandfather, they see how many people he's touched", Maltby said.
"He had his fingers in almost everything in Detroit", she said. "That's what made him the man that he is".
Mr. I., the well-known owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers, died on February 10. He was perhaps most famous for his involvement with Little Caesar's but was also well known for making hockey relevant again in Detroit. He continued to pay rent for her downtown Detroit apartment until Parks died in 2005, Keith told WXYZ.
There were flowers and big photographs and a slide show of Ilitch and his family set to music inside the main theater.
'They kept pushing Detroit, and had it not been for them, I am saying, Detroit would not be in the renaissance that they're in now'.
It's fitting that the Ilitch family would hold the public visitation in the theatre that Ilitch and his wife Marian beautifully restored. He had demanded that then Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson hire scab replacement players, to which Anderson famously said "no", telling Ilitch "There ain't enough money in the world to buy my integrity".
"You're waiting for your Little Caesar's after the game, which is obviously something we all cherish, but yeah, it's just old, brick-lined hallways and steel beams running everywhere and wires and that adds to the charm, I guess".