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Family, friends and fans of fashion designer Kate Spade gather for her funeral in KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A large crowd is expected to pay respects to Kansas City native and fashion designer Kate Spade Thursday afternoon.

Designer Kate Spade attends OPEN from American Express' "Making a Name for Yourself" at Nokia Theater July 27, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images For American Express)

The funeral takes place at Redemptorist Church in midtown at 3 p.m. It is open to the public, but seating will be limited.

Not only is Kansas City Spade’s hometown, but the church where her funeral will be held is where her grandparents were married.

The seating to pay respects for Spade is on a first come first serve basis. It’s estimated the church seats about 1,000 people.

Police said they are handling the funeral as a special event with a traffic unit assigned. So if you plan to attend, get there early to get a seat and to avoid the congestion because the area around the church will be blocked off.

Spade, who was born Katherine Brosnahan, went to St. Teresa’s Academy near Brookside Boulevard and  West 57th Street. Spade then went to KU briefly before transferring to Arizona State. Spade and her husband, Andy, founded the brand Kate Spade New York in 1993 and the rest was handbag history.

Spade was found dead June 5 in her New York apartment. Investigators said she took her own life. Her husband said she suffered from depression for years and they lived apart prior to her death.

Spade is survived by her husband, Andy, and teenage daughter, Frances. Kate spade was 55 years old.

In lieu of flowers, her family asks that individuals donate to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or Wayside Waifs.

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Go to a hospital, call 911 or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

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