Nation Bids Farewell To Rosalynn Carter, Saluting Her Service And Humanity

Former First Lady Eulogized As A Woman Of Action Guided By Compassion

Atlanta, GA – Family, dignitaries and admirers from across the political spectrum gathered Tuesday to honor the life of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Mrs. Carter passed away November 19th at age 96 as the nation’s longest-living first lady. Speakers acclaimed her intellect, influence and deep Christian conviction to uplift the vulnerable. But they said her storied career never eclipsed a core drive to simply help others.

“She said the people that she felt the most comfortable with and the people she enjoyed being with the most were those that lived in absolute abject poverty,” recounted son Chip Carter. He said while his mother met elites worldwide, she always felt most at home with those lacking basic necessities.

The remembrance service drew President Joe Biden plus former presidents and first ladies counting the Carters as longtime allies. Also attending was Mr. Carter’s predecessor Jimmy Carter, appearing publicly for the first time since entering home hospice care in September at age 99.

Seated in his wheelchair surrounded by family, the 39th president watched alongside the couple’s four children as his wife of 77 years was memorialized as the adhesive binding their clan. “My mother was the glue that held our family together,” said Chip Carter.

Participants underscored Mrs. Carter’s imprint on history as a groundbreaking first lady who attended Cabinet meetings, lobbied Congress and helped broker the Camp David Accords. “Without Rosalynn Carter, I don’t believe there would have been a President Carter,” said journalist Judy Woodruff.

Yet Mrs. Carter’s celebrity never overshadowed what speaker after speaker described as her inner light – a profound call to serve those on society’s margins. Country stars Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks closed the service with the lyric “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” from John Lennon’s ode to idealism, “Imagine.”

The tribute was the apex of three days of commemorations for the former first lady before her funeral Wednesday in Plains, Georgia, where she will be laid to rest. It drew bipartisan well-wishers testifying to Mrs. Carter’s influence elevating mental health as a national priority while pioneering the role of first lady as a full political partner.

But above the policy legacy, family members emphasized Rosalynn Carter’s bottomless empathy and personal warmth. Grandson Jason Carter shared laughs describing his grandmother serving pimento cheese sandwiches she had prepared to passengers on a commercial flight.

“She loved people,” Jason Carter said. “She was a cool grandma.”

The remembrances portrayed Rosalynn Carter as a woman who traversed the circles of statecraft without ever losing her moral compass or common touch. Speakers called her life the embodiment of compassion fused to action through crisis and achievement alike.

Image courtesy of Georgia Tech under PDM 1.0 DEED Public Domain Mark 1.0 Universal