ROSALYNN CARTER DEAD AT 96
Married to Jimmy for 77 years
Rosalynn Smith married US navy officer Jimmy Carter 77 years ago. They remained sweethearts until the end. While Jimmy served as president they avoided dancing with others at official White House functions. Like the old song says, they only had eyes for each other.
They were devout Christians attending the little Baptist church in the little town of Plains Georgia. Jimmy taught Sunday School class. After Jimmy lost the presidency largely as a result of the Iranian hostage fiasco when US military helicopters crashed in the desert, Jimmy and Rosalynn threw themselves into selfless service for others. They rewrote the book on SERVANT LEADERSHIP. When the Carters were not trying to restore peace to global hot-spots, Jimmy was out hammer in hand building homes for poor folks. Rosalynn had her own projects and sought to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. They were the real deal. In some ways, they were the odd couple — at odds with the grasping selfish world around them.
This week former President Donald Trump, no partisan of Jimmy’s Democratic Party, heaped praise on former First Lady Rosalynn who had reached out to his First Lady Melania.
Many years ago, members of the Carter clan in England, yearning to break free, migrated from the old Mother Land. Some went to America, some of my ancestors found their way to Australia. A Carter was the first to release slaves in America. This happened while George Washington, newly minted president of the new republic, still kept slaves along with his fellow legislators.
Jimmy and Rosalynn broke with the great Southern Baptist denomination of which they were members. The discrimination against women and the cover up of child abuse was more than they could stomach. They became Independents. They were not overawed by the Baptist hierarchy.
Jimmy Carter like Carter the Emancipator of slaves looked beyond politics and sought a higher calling. Rosalynn stood by his side for 77 years and in many ways excelled her husband who for four years was President of the United States and Leader of the Free World.
She epitomized SERVANT LEADERSHIP.
Of her we say, “REST IN PEACE, ROSALYNN, RISE IN GLORY.”
— John Carter