Jimmy Carter has released his first statement following the death of his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, aged 96.
The Carter Center yesterday confirmed the passing of Rosalynn, who had entered hospice care late last week, six months after being diagnosed with dementia.
Tributes for Rosalynn – who leaves behind an extensive track record of stellar humanitarian work – have flooded the internet, but there will be perhaps no message more heartfelt than that of her long-time husband, former president Jimmy Carter.
According to reports, Rosalynn passed away at her home in Plains, Georgia at 2:10 p.m. on November 19.
The former First Lady served in the White House alongside her husband between 1977 and 1981 but continued to carry out humanitarian work in the years following through the Carter Center.
Sadly, both Rosalynn and Jimmy’s health has waned over the course of the past year. Jimmy Carter entered hospice care back in February after turning down medical intervention for a number of health issues.
Last week, Rosalynn joined her husband half a year after being diagnosed with dementia.
“Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has entered hospice care at home,” a statement released by the Carter Center read. “She and President Carter are spending time with each other and their family. The Carter family continues to ask for privacy and remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support.”
In a tragic turn of events, Rosalynn passed away less than 48 hours after returning to the one-story home she shared with Jimmy in the town where they both grew up.
Following her passing, Jimmy, the 39th President of the United States, released a statement in which he described Rosalynn as his “equal partner”.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy’s statement read.
“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.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn married all the way back in 1946. Carter remained in the military until 1953, when he resigned after the death of his father and took over his family’s farm, but soon pursued a career in politics, winning a Georgia Senate seat in 1962.
Through it all, Rosalynn was right there by his side: “We developed a partnership when we were working in the farm supply business, and it continued when Jimmy got involved in politics,” Rosalynn Carter told AP. “I knew more on paper about the business than he did. He would take my advice about things.”
Rest in peace, Rosalynn Carter. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.