Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter‘s passing on November 19, 2023, was met with deep mourning from her supporters, friends, and, most profoundly, her family.
The 96-year-old wife of former president Jimmy Carter, who was known for her mental health and women’s rights advocacy, passed away peacefully at 2:10 pm in the couple’s Plains, Georgia home, according to the Carter Center.
She was married to Jimmy Carter, the country’s 39th president for 77 years.
Jimmy, who is currently 99 years old and on hospice care himself, issued a moving statement following his wife’s death.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy Carter said in a statement. “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.”
The family shared the heart-wrenching news and offered personal tributes to their beloved wife and mother through the organization’s website.
Chip, one of Rosalynn’s four children, had some heartfelt poignant words to say about his mother and the vibrant life she led. He remarked: “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right. Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans.”
In addition, he also touched on the lasting impact of Rosalynn’s advocacy work: “She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”
Rosalynn had been a dedicated mental health advocate, utilizing various platforms such as Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion, the White House, and The Carter Center. Her commitment extended to improving healthcare access and dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health.
The Carter family revealed on November 17, 2023, that Rosalynn had entered at-home hospice care, spending her final days surrounded by loved ones, including her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, who had entered hospice in February. The public learned of Rosalynn’s dementia diagnosis in May 2023.
Despite facing health challenges, Rosalynn celebrated her 96th birthday in August, surrounded by family at their Plains, Georgia home. The Carters gathered for the occasion, sharing moments over peanut butter ice cream and cupcakes.
Throughout both triumphs and trials, the enduring bond between Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, spanning nearly 80 years of marriage, remained unshakable. In recent years, the couple chose a private life away from public scrutiny.
Their final public appearance occurred two months prior to Rosalynn’s passing, at the Plains Peanut Festival.
Our thoughts are with the Carter family at this devastating time.