Rosalynn Carter is honored at memorial
By BILL BARROW and ANDREW DeMILLO Associated Press
ATLANTA — Rosalynn Carter was remembered Tuesday as a former US first lady who leveraged her fierce intellect and political power to put her deep Christian faith into action by always helping others, especially those who needed it most.
A gathering of first ladies and presidents — including her 99-year-old husband Jimmy Carter — joined other political figures in tribute. But a parade of speakers said her global stature wasn’t what defined her.
“She had met kings and queens, presidents, others in authority, powerful corporate leaders and celebrities,” her son James Earl “Chip” Carter III said. “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, the ones without adequate housing, without a proper diet and without access to health care.”
The service was held during three days of events celebrating the humanitarian who died Nov. 19 at home in Plains, Ga, at the age of 96. Tributes began Monday in the Carters’ native Sumter County and continued at Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta. Her funeral and burial are planned for today in her small hometown.
Jimmy Carter, who is 10 months into home hospice care, watched from his wheelchair, reclining and covered by a blanket featuring his wife’s face. Chip and his sister, Amy, held their father’s hands and were flanked by their brothers, Jeff and Jack.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, the Carters’ longtime friends, joined them in the front row, along with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the other living former first ladies, Melania Trump, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff paid their respects, as did Georgia’s US senators and Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife, Marty.
More than 1,000 people, including a sizeable contingent of Secret Service agents, filled
the sanctuary. Former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush were invited but did not attend.
“My mother was the glue that held our family together through the ups and downs and thicks and thins of our family’s politics,” Chip Carter said.
The pews filled with political power players, but front and center were her children
and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren — all surrounding Jimmy Carter, her partner of 77 years.
“Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life,” said Amy Carter, who read a love note her father wrote to her mother 75 years ago.
Journalist Judy Woodruff recalled Rosalynn Carter lobbying
lawmakers, campaigning separately from her husband, attending Cabinet meetings and playing key roles — including being the first presidential adviser to suggest Camp David as a negotiating place for Epypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin. Those negotiations led to historic peace accords between the two countries.
Alberta Newspaper Group