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Church plans memorial Mass for Stevens; official funeral set for later in week

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Aide: Stevens knew risk of flight
  • The Mass is not the official funeral for Stevens
  • The funeral will be held on Wednesday
  • Stevens and four others died when a plane crashed into the side of a mountain

(CNN) -- A memorial Mass for former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens will be celebrated Monday at the Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage.

The Mass is not the official funeral for Stevens.

The funeral will be held Wednesday at the Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage.

Stevens -- who served in the U.S. Senate for 40 years -- and four others died last week when the plane they were in flew into the side of a mountain in remote southern Alaska on August 9.

Video: Looking back at Ted Stevens
Video: A look at the Alaska plane crash site

Brutal terrain and bad weather kept survivors waiting 12 hours for rescue after the crash, officials and witnesses said. The crash left four others injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday it was too early to tell whether Stevens and the others survived the crash, but eventually succumbed while waiting to be rescued, authorities said.

The aircraft, which was taking the group on a fishing trip, crashed about 17 miles north of Dillingham in the southwestern area of the state, authorities said.

Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate's history and a champion for Alaska.

Stevens earned the nickname "Uncle Ted" and a reputation as one of the most effective of all pork-barrel lawmakers, a senator who funneled billions of federal dollars to his home state.

His footprint can be seen all over Alaska. In Anchorage, where most people fly into the state, a large sign proclaims "Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport."