Rosalynn Carter Remembered as Former First Lady is Laid to Rest in Georgia

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest in Plains, Georgia on Wednesday.


Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest in Plains, Georgia on Wednesday. The wife of former president Jimmy Carter, she championed women’s rights, mental health, and caregiving during her time as First Lady and in the decades that followed.

  • The former president, 99, led mourners including presidents and all living First Ladies in Atlanta on Tuesday to honor his late wife before returning to Plains with Rosalynn for the last time. The Carter family held a private funeral service before her burial on Wednesday. 
  • Rosalynn Smith Carter died on Nov. 19 at age 96, and the 99-year-old former president entered hospice care in February. Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were married for 77 years at the time of her death, the longest presidential marriage in US history. 
  • The Carters had four children – Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, along with 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  • During and after her time as First Lady, Mrs. Carter advocated for human rights and democracy around the world, sponsored disease eradication initiatives, and would send her grandchildren birthday cards filled with $20 bills.  
  • The former president was wheeled into the service at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church covered with a blanket illustrated with a picture of the Carters, along with symbols representing Plains. 
  • Mrs. Carter’s memorial service in Atlanta was attended by two Democratic presidents who began their careers as Carter supporters, President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.  
  • All five living First Ladies – Jill Biden, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – were in attendance, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN covered the remembrances Carter’s family shared at her memorial service. “My mother was the glue that held our family together, through the ups and downs and thicks and thins of our family’s politics. As individuals she believed in us and took care of us,” said her son James Earl “Chip” Carter. 
  • People Magazine explained why members of the Carter family wore leis at her private funeral service on Wednesday. The leis were to represent her “love of Hawaii,” and were donated by close family friends of the former First Lady who live in the Aloha State. 
  • The New York Times assessed the “subtle differences” between the former First Ladies: “It was the first time since George H.W. Bush’s funeral, in 2018, that all of the living first ladies had been in one place…Each of them, in their own way, embodied Mrs. Carter’s directive, once offered to Mrs. Obama, that they make the job their own. United (mostly) in black, their differences were in the details.”


  • According to the New York Post, “The motorcade carrying her remains from Marantha for the last time traveled through the small town where she made a lifetime of memories, passing holiday lights and decorations that included a photo collage in front of a Christmas tree featuring the so-called “First Lady of Plains.” It then passed by the old high school where Rosalynn was a valedictorian during World War II and the Plains Baptist Church, where she and the former president made a name for themselves arguing for racial integration.” 
  • “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” said Jimmy Carter said in a statement after the announcement of her passing, per Breitbart. “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.”
  • Fox News noted this was Jimmy Carter’s “first public appearance since September, when he and Rosalynn Carter rode together in the Plains Peanut Festival parade, visible only through open windows in a Secret Service vehicle. Carter, who was with his wife during her final hours, did not appear publicly during any part of a public motorcade and wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Rosalynn Carter’s alma mater, Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023