Article Overview: Remembering Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter, the wife of President Jimmy Carter, passed away peacefully at home in Plains, Georgia, on November 19. She was placed in hospice care on Friday after dealing with a dementia diagnosis earlier in 2023.
At the same time, President Jimmy Carter has been in hospice since February. After facing his own myriad of health issues, he decided no more intervention was needed for his final days. He issued a statement about his wife’s passing.
“Rosalynn was 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.”
– President Jimmy Carter
The Conservation President
Now is a great time to reflect on the contributions made by the Carters. Here at More Than Just Parks, we consider President Carter to be the Greatest Conservation President. Knowing how influential Rosalynn was in this work, she gets accolades, too, in addition to her humanitarian and mental health prowess.
Rosalynn was once called the “second most powerful person in the United States,” earning the nickname Steel Magnolia. It was a mix of her Georgian roots and her powerful presence and courage of conviction.
“I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community no matter who you are or where you live.”
– Rosalynn Carter
Without the Carters in American history, our conversation efforts and mental health care would be far behind where we stand now. Their ongoing efforts after being in office led to the creation of The Carter Center for humanitarian work.
The Carter couple was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999. Then President Bill Clinton stated they had done “more good things for more people in more places than any other couple on the face of the Earth.”
The Carter Love Story
Greatness came in many forms for both Jimmy and Rosalynn, but it was their great love story that solidified trust and tenacity between the two. Rosalynn said Jimmy was the most handsome man she’d ever seen the first time she saw his photo.
After Jimmy and Rosalynn’s first date, Jimmy famously told his mother, “That was the girl I wanted to marry.” He proposed a short time later, but she said no. She wanted to finish higher education before the two tied the knot. Perhaps it was the only time Rosalynn changed her mind; she married him on July 7, 1946.
Rosalynn and President Carter had four children—sons Jack, now 76, James III, 73, Donnel, 71, and daughter Amy, 56.
The Carter Legacy
Rosalynn’s legacy lives on in many ways, but the focal point is at The Carter Center. Donations are being accepted in lieu of flowers. The Jimmy Carter Library & Museum in Georgia honors the work of the President and Rosalynn.
We’re big fans of the Jimmy Carter National Historical Park in Georgia; it’s top among the 15 MUST-SEE Historic Sites In Georgia.
Rosalynn Carter was once asked how she should be remembered. Her answer was as inspirational in life as it is in the days after her death, “I would like for people to think I took advantage of the opportunities I had and did the best I could.”
Well done, Mrs. Carter. Well done, indeed.