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Former US President Jimmy Carter makes rare appearance at wife Rosalynn's memorial

Former United States First Lady and renowned humanitarian Rosalynn Carter, who was an influential figure in US politics, passed away at the age of 96 on November 19. She was married to Jimmy Carter for 77 years since 1946, making them the longest-married presidential couple in the US.

Former US President Jimmy Carter makes rare appearance at wife Rosalynn memorial gcw
First Published Nov 29, 2023, 12:58 PM IST

Jimmy Carter, the 99-year-old former US President who entered hospice care in February, made a rare public appearance, looking frail as he attended a memorial service in Atlanta for his wife, Rosalynn Carter, who died on November 19. He entered the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in a wheelchair, wearing a black suit and tie. He was assisted to the first row, next to his wife's casket draped in flowers, where he sat with his kids on each side.

A blue-and-white blanket with an embroidered smiling picture of his wife was folded over his lap. Their union lasted for seventy-seven years.

Rosalynn Carter was an integral part of President Carter's administration from 1977 to 1981 as first lady and continued to support him in his humanitarian endeavours after they departed the White House. Her age of death was 96.

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During the service, Jimmy Carter did not speak to the bereaved. After paying homage to Rosalynn Carter and referring to her as "the glue" that kept the family together, his son James Earl "Chip" Carter III gave dad a kiss on the forehead.

The former president made the decision to stop receiving medical treatment and move into hospice care at his Plains, Georgia, home nine months ago. The former president has battled a number of health challenges, including cancer. Just a few days before she passed away, his wife—who had been diagnosed with dementia—joined him in hospice care.

The Carters, who were married in 1946 at the ages of 21 and 18, were the longest-married US presidential couple. Amy Carter, their daughter, read a passage from a letter Jimmy Carter sent to Rosalynn when he was in the Navy at the funeral.

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The Carters' final public appearance together was in September when they went to the Plains Peanut Festival in their small rural town. They were both wearing shirts with the insignia of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organisation that the couple has long supported and which focuses on delivering affordable homes.

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