The ailing 99-year-old, who has been in hospice care since February 2023, made a rare public appearance to say goodbye to the love of his life, who died November 19 at age 96.
Keep reading to learn how the adoring man paid homage to his beloved late wife.
On Tuesday, November 28, past and present presidents and first ladies gathered at Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta to celebrate the life of Rosalynn Carter, who was remembered for her fierce dedication to her husband, Jimmy Carter, and to the country.
In attendance were President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first ladies, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush. Vice President Kamala Harris was also there to pay her respects.
In a room full of political power players from across the country, eyes shifted to the doorway when the former president was wheeled in on his chair, that was steered by a Secret Service agent.
This was Carter’s first public appearance since September, when right before his 99th birthday, he appeared with Rosalynn at the annual Plains Peanut Festival in their hometown. The adoring couple were seen in the back of an SUV driven by a Secret Service agent, and Rosalynn waved to the crowd with one hand, while holding her husband’s hand with the other.
Carter was next to his wife of 77 years when she passed.
Shortly after Rosalynn died, Carter released a statement that said, “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”
Now saying farewell, Carter – who was wearing a black suit with a white shirt – reclined back in his wheelchair, and covering his legs that were stretched out, was a white blanket decorated by a portrait of him and his late wife. The blanket also pays tribute to the small town of Plains, Georgia, where Jimmy met Rosalynn days after she was born, and where the couple continued to live after their time in the White House (1977 to 1981).
As described by People, the throw also features “the text ‘est. 1885’ as well as images of dogwood flowers, a plant that’s native to the state of Georgia. Other illustrations around the border of the blanket appeared to depict other facets of life in Plains.”
Carter, who’s been in home hospice care for 10 months now, joined his family in the front pew, holding the hands of children, Chip and Amy, who were tightly gripping the hands of brothers Jeff and Jack with their other hands.
Honoring his mom in a tribute, Chip said “My mother was the glue that held our family together through the ups and downs and thicks and thins of our family’s politics.”
Referring to the undying love shared by her parents, sister Amy added, “My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad. Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life.”
Tearfully, Amy then shared a love letter written to her mom, penned by her father 75 years ago while he served in the Navy. The letter ends, “goodbye darling. Until tomorrow, Jimmy.
Journalist Judy Woodruff was also there to say goodbye to Rosalynn, and recalling her dynamic efforts as the first lady, she told Associated Press, “Without Rosalynn Carter, I don’t believe there would have been a President Carter.”
The ceremonies for Rosalynn started Monday with a wreath-laying at Georgia Southwestern State University’s Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex.
On November 28, a funeral service for family and friends will take place at Maranatha Baptist Church in the Carter’s hometown of Plains.
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