‘A Farewell to Nancy Reagan’: Young America’s Foundation Remembers Former First Lady

President Ronald and first lady Nancy Reagan give farewell waves following a fundraiser for the Campaign Fund for Republican Women, Feb. 15, 1984 in Washington. Speaking on what would have been the 164th birthday of suffragist Susan B. Anthony, Reagan told the group "We can be proud that, as women …
AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Young America’s Foundation, which owns and maintains the Reagan Ranch, has released a tribute video to mourn the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Read the full YAF statement below:

RESTON, VA– Young America’s Foundation mourns the passing of Nancy Reagan, a remarkable American who contributed immensely to the work of keeping her husband’s spirit alive in the next generation.

Nancy understood better than anyone the importance of ensuring future generations of Americans learned from President Reagan’s towering example of leadership, humility, grace, and patriotism. Because of her commitment to this critical work, her husband’s passion for our country is alive in the hearts and minds of countless young Americans.

“Nancy Reagan was essential to all of Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments. She saw his true potential and encouraged his entry into elective politics,” said Frank Donatelli, Chairman of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors.

“She took great pains to insure that he worked with aides who were at once competent and loyal. She encouraged him as he worked to end the Cold War and bring freedom to millions around the world previously under the boot of Communism. Most importantly she brought him peace, security and a long and joyous marriage. We can all share in the happiness that they are together again,” said Donatelli.

John Barletta, retired United States Secret Service agent and Ronald Reagan’s protector and friend, remarked, “My bond with Mrs. Reagan was sealed a few months after I began riding with President Reagan as part of his Secret Service detail. I could instantly see that the two of them were very much in love. Mrs. Reagan adored him. She learned to ride because she wanted to be with him. They were so completely devoted to each other that at times I felt like I was coming between them during our rides, but she also told me that my riding with the President made him happier, and, of course, that made her ecstatic.”

Barletta continued, “I saw her dedication to him first hand, especially in the final years. She never wanted to leave his side. Now both President and Mrs. Reagan are gone, but their memories will remain in the hearts of millions. I was fortunate to know — and love — them both.”

Today, Young America’s Foundation reflects on Nancy’s gracious decision to entrust us with the preservation of President Reagan’s beloved Rancho del Cielo. Their love for one another will live on forever in the Ranch and we will do everything to ensure that each student brought to the property understands Nancy Reagan’s powerful love for her husband and her country.

Reagan passed away at age 94 in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Breitbart’s Jarrett Stepman wrote of her legacy:

Ronald and Nancy Reagan met in 1949 when Ronald was the head of the Screen Actors Guild and they married three years later. Their bond was deep and a driving force behind Ronald Reagan’s relentless and successful political career.

When Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, Nancy become his primary caretaker until his death in 2004. Throughout that time she remained a guardian of his legacy.


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