Gerald Ford's Four Children Back in Spotlight

As mourners lined up to pay respects to former President Gerald Ford on a rainy New Year's Day, many were surprised to be greeted by two of his children, Michael Gerald and Susan.

Over the weekend, Ford's two other sons, Jack and Steve, greeted visitors, thanking them for being there.

The Ford children had been out of the public eye since their father's presidency ended, but his death has put them back in the spotlight. Reflecting on their time in the White House, they said they were as surprised as the rest of the nation when their father became president after Richard Nixon's resignation.

"It happened overnight to us," said Steve Ford. "My friends and I, we were in high school, and dad was a congressman then. And we'd drive by the White House and say, 'I wonder what they do in there?' And there was no way in the world that anybody could have predicted the events that would happen in history."

Susan, the youngest, was in high school at the time.

"Every single girl in the class showed up for the prom, which has never ever happened before," she said. "But I'm sure it was to do with the fact that it was at the White House. We had more parents that wanted to chaperone the party than you could ever imagine."

The Glare of Being a Teen in the White House

As with all first families, the country watched them with their father on vacations, skiing in Vail, Colo. where they had a home.

"The big spotlight that the White House shines on first families definitely draws them closer," said Jack Ford.

Perhaps the most recognized Ford son is Steve, an actor who appeared on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" in the 1980s.

He then went on to roles in movies such as "When Harry Met Sally."

The Ford children have barely left their father's side since his body was brought to the Capitol Rotunda.

They've been standing just as close to their mother, Betty, supporting her through their father's long illness and now, when they are all back in the public eye again.