Final farewell for former US first lady Rosalynn Carter

Final farewell for former US first lady Rosalynn Carter
Final farewell for former US first lady Rosalynn Carter

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Members of the Carter family watch as the casket of former first lady Rosalynn Carter arrives at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum on November 27, 2023 in Atlanta. — Pool pic via APF

WASHIGTON, Nov 30 — Mourners paid final tribute yesterday to former US first lady Rosalynn Carter at a private funeral service attended by a frail Jimmy Carter, before she was buried at their home in the small town of Plains, Georgia.

Jimmy Carter, 99, joined the funeral in a wheelchair after also attending a public ceremony Tuesday in Atlanta where two of his White House successors — President Joe Biden and former president Bill Clinton — as well as all five living first ladies paid their last respects.

Rosalynn Carter, who died last week at the age of 96, was a key part of her husband’s political career and boosted the modern role of first lady during his single term as president from 1977-1981.

Her death saw an outpouring of praise for her work alongside Jimmy Carter promoting democracy and health programmes around the world after they left the White House.

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Yesterday’s service took place in the Baptist church where the Carters worshiped for decades, with family members including their great-grandchildren delivering addresses and reading scriptures.

Some of the 200 attendees wore colourful lei garlands to honour Rosalynn Carter’s love of Hawaii, where the young couple lived when Jimmy Carter was in the navy.

The couple married in 1946, forming a famously close union that lasted 77 years.

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They met in Plains as children and returned to live there after Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan.

After the service, the hearse was driven through the town’s tiny centre to the Carters’ modest house, where Rosalynn Carter was buried on a sloping lawn, US media reported, adding that the former president will one day be buried beside her.

Jimmy Carter, who has been in hospice care at the couple’s home since February, said in a statement when she died that Rosalynn had been “my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished.” — AFP

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