Jimmy Carter, close family, friends bid farewell to Rosalynn Carter

Nov. 29 (UPI) — Former first lady Rosalynn Carter returned home to Plains, Ga., where she was laid to rest Wednesday, surrounded by loved ones and her husband of 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter.

The former first lady’s burial at their longtime family home followed a private funeral service at Marantha Baptist Church, where she and the former president worshipped and taught Sunday school.

Jimmy Carter, who is 99-years-old and in hospice, attended the funeral in a wheelchair, covered in a blanket and wearing a red lei to honor his and Rosalynn’s time together in Hawaii when he served in the Navy.

Carter was with his wife, who was 96, when she passed away on Nov. 19.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy Carter said in a statement announcing her death. “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.”

During Wednesday’s service, Pastor Tony Lowden eulogized the former first lady, calling on loved ones to “live on her legacy.”

“Her care and concern for those around her defined her and left the most remarkable impression upon our hearts and memories, as we remember her today,” Lowden said.

“She’ll tell you don’t stop. There’s too many homeless people in the world. There’s too many people that still don’t have equal rights. There’s still too many people who suffer from mental illness. There’s still too many people that look at the color of their skin. She’ll tell you don’t stop,” the pastor added.

The service included scripture readings by three of Rosalynn Carter’s 14 great-grandchildren, and tributes from longtime aide Kathryn Cade, journalist Judy Woodruff and grandson Jason Carter.

Robert Moss, 93, a former peanut farmer who worked with Jimmy Carter in the 1960s, attended Wednesday’s service and called it “as wonderful as Rosalynn.”

“We were glad to see him out here for Rosalynn,” Moss said of Jimmy Carter.

Wednesday’s private funeral and burial concluded three days of services that included a motorcade to Atlanta, where the former first lady lay in repose at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.

Jimmy Carter made a rare appearance Tuesday at Rosalynn Carter’s tribute service in Atlanta, which was also attended by President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Melania Trump.

On Wednesday, the public began lining the streets in Plains well before dawn to pay their final respects to Rosalynn Carter. The hearse carrying the former first lady’s casket departed the church in a slow funeral procession as family and friends walked alongside in a fitting tribute.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were the first newly inaugurated president, and first lady, to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to the White House in 1977, beginning a more than 40-year inauguration tradition.


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