NOVEMBER 20, 2023
Tributes to former first lady Rosalynn Carter poured in after the Carter Center, the global nonprofit she and former President Jimmy Carter founded in the 1980s, confirmed that the former first lady died surrounded by family and friends in her home in Plains, Georgia.
Carter was a life-long champion of mental health, caregiving, rights for women and more during her decades of public service to the country. The former president in a statement on Sunday called his wife “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.”
Here’s what you need to know about Rosalynn Carter’s death and legacy.
When did Rosalynn Carter die?
Carter died Sunday, Nov. 19 in her Georgia home, the Carter Center confirmed to USA TODAY. The center said she “died peacefully, with family by her side.”
Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter’s grandson, Jason Carter, told USA TODAY earlier this year that his grandparents remained together and in love, despite facing health challenges.
“They’re coming to the end, as we know,” Jason Carter, chairman of the Carter Center’s Board of Trustees and an attorney, said.
“They are together. They are at home. They’re in love, and I don’t think anyone gets more than that,” he added at the time.
When was Rosalynn Carter diagnosed with dementia?
The Carter family confirmed in May that Rosalynn Carter was diagnosed with dementia.
At the time, the family said the firmer first lady “continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains (Georgia) and visits with loved ones.”
“We hope sharing our family’s news will increase important conversations at kitchen tables and in doctor’s offices around the country,” the family said in a statement. “As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Mrs. Carter often noted that there are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”
How old was Rosalynn Carter?
Rosalynn Carter was 96 at the time of her death.
She marked her birthday in August at home with her husband and other family with a quiet celebration, complete with cupcakes and peanut butter ice cream.
The Carter Center on her birthday shared a video highlighting Rosalynn Carter’s global humanitarian efforts, celebrating “Her historic commitment to mental health and to making the world a better place inspires us every day.”
Rosalynn Carter and Jimmy Carter volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
The Carters dedicated decades to championing Habitat for Humanity, establishing the annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
The couple was so dedicated to the organization that they didn’t even let injuries stop them from working. In 2019, the former president, then 95, traveled to Nashville for a week of volunteer work despite having 14 stitches and a black eye after falling.
What is hospice care? How is Jimmy Carter’s health?
The Carter Center confirmed Rosalynn Carter entered hospice care on Friday, after she had been diagnosed with dementia and just days before her death on Sunday.
Former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care in February after a series of short hospital stays.
But what is hospice? After attempts to cure the patient’s illness have stopped, hospice care can provide comfort and support in the final stages of life. Hospice care is designed to maximize comfort and quality of life for the patient as they near their death, according to the National Institutes of Health.
How long were the Carters married?
At the time of Rosalynn Carter’s death, the Carters had been married for 77 years. The couple was married on July 7, 1946.
Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter went on their first date the year before – a movie in their hometown of Plains. The former president has long called their marriage “the best thing I’ve ever had happen to me.”
Courtesy: This article originally appeared on USA TODAY