(CTN News) – In a poignant gathering of political figures and well-wishers, former President Jimmy Carter attended a memorial service for his wife, Rosalynn Carter, in Georgia.
This public appearance marked a rare outing for the 99-year-old former president, who has been under hospice care for the past 10 months. Rosalynn Carter, aged 96, passed away earlier this month after being diagnosed with dementia in May.
The memorial service, held at the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church at Emory University, was a somber yet uplifting event.
President Joe Biden, along with former President Bill Clinton, were among the attendees, showcasing the bipartisan respect Mrs. Carter earned throughout her lifetime.
Jimmy Carter & Rosalynn: Honoring a 77-Year Love Story
The Carters’ 77-year marriage holds the record as the longest of any first couple in U.S. history.
As the motorcade carried Mrs. Carter to the church, her grandchildren formed a guard of honor, underscoring the family’s commitment and love.
The service drew a notable gathering of influential political figures, including all four living first ladies—Jill Biden, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton.
Despite his frail health, President Jimmy Carter sat in the front row, watching the service unfold. His presence spoke volumes about the enduring love and commitment the couple shared.
Jason Carter, one of the former president’s grandsons, noted Jimmy Carter’s physical decline but emphasized his determination to be with his wife until the end.
The tributes during the service highlighted Rosalynn Carter’s remarkable life and her legacy of advocacy. In the 1960s, while her husband began his political career, she focused on reducing the stigma associated with mental illnesses.
As the first lady of Georgia and later the U.S. first lady, she championed mental health causes and played a crucial role in the passage of a 1980 act that funded local mental health centers.
Rosalynn Carter Memorial Service: A Celebration of Love, Advocacy, and Legacy
The Carter Center, founded by the couple in 1982, became a platform for Rosalynn Carter’s continued advocacy work, spanning mental health, early childhood immunization, and various humanitarian causes.
Rosalynn Carter’s daughter, Amy, shared a heartfelt letter from President Carter written 75 years ago, expressing his enduring love and admiration.
The ceremony also featured Mrs. Carter’s favorite Bible passages and a touching musical performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, friends of the Carters who have collaborated on Habitat for Humanity projects.
As the memorial service concluded, Mrs. Carter began her final journey home to Plains, the town the Carters called home for decades.
A private funeral service for family and close friends is scheduled at the Maranatha Baptist Church, and she will be laid to rest at the Carter Home and Garden, with her husband to join her when the time comes.
Rosalynn Carter’s life is a testament to the enduring power of love and advocacy, leaving a legacy that extends far beyond her time in the public eye.