Jimmy Carter Joins Memorial for Rosalynn

Jimmy Carter Joins Memorial for Rosalynn


Today in Atlanta, a solemn tribute service is underway at Glenn Memorial Church to honor the late Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and global humanitarian.

The event, part of a three-day public schedule, features classical music, beloved hymns, and readings from Rosalynn Carter’s favorite Biblical passages. Notably, all living U.S. first ladies and multiple presidents, including the 99-year-old Jimmy Carter, her husband of 77-plus years, are gathered for this unique occasion.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, alongside former President Bill Clinton, former first ladies Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, and Laura Bush, are among the dignitaries attending the tribute service for Rosalynn Carter.

Notably, Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife Marty Kemp are expected, while former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush were invited but will not be in attendance.

Jimmy Carter’s participation had been uncertain due to his health; he is currently in home hospice care. Still, the Carter Center has confirmed his plans to attend the service, marking his first public appearance since September. The Carters’ enduring 77-year marriage makes them the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history.

Rosalynn Carter is celebrated for her five-decade advocacy for mental health care, reducing the stigma around mental illness, and shedding light on the challenges faced by unpaid caregivers. The tribute emphasizes her crucial role in her husband’s political career, both as Georgia’s governor and the 39th president.

The Carters’ relationship with various presidents has been complex. While Joe Biden is a close friend, earlier Democratic successors, Clinton and Obama, kept a distance, which reportedly displeased Rosalynn Carter. The Carters’ relationship with Donald Trump was mixed, with Jimmy Carter aligning on certain issues but also criticizing Trump’s election legitimacy.

Former President Trump’s absence at the service ensures the avoidance of any potential awkward encounters. The Carters’ relationship with other former presidents, such as Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush was generally positive, though they outlived these political counterparts.

The tribute service, held at Glenn Memorial Church, includes musical performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chorus, featuring Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, friends of the Carters through their work with Habitat for Humanity.

The funeral is set for Wednesday in Plains, Georgia, with a private service at Maranatha Baptist Church, where the Carters have been members since returning to Georgia after Jimmy Carter’s presidency. Rosalynn Carter will be laid to rest in a private graveside service on a shared plot, visible from the couple’s home built before Jimmy Carter’s political career began in 1962.