Jimmy Carter Affirms Late Spouse Rosalynn as His ‘Equal Partner in Everything’ Following Her Passing at 96

Following the passing of his beloved wife Rosalynn Carter, former President Jimmy Carter has reflected on their enduring partnership spanning decades.

Rosalynn, the former first lady of the United States, peacefully passed away at the age of 96 in her long-time home in Plains, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon. The Carter Center’s news release stated that she was surrounded by her family during her final moments.

In a corresponding statement, former President Carter, now 99, expressed, “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. She provided me with wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. With Rosalynn in the world, I always felt loved and supported.”

Rosalynn had been diagnosed with dementia in May, and she entered hospice care on Friday. In February, Jimmy opted to discontinue medical intervention amidst his own health challenges and continues to receive hospice care at home.

Married in 1946, Rosalynn and Jimmy welcomed sons John William “Jack,” James Earl “Chip,” Donnel Jeffrey “Jeff,” and daughter Amy Carter. Their family expanded to include 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Throughout her husband’s rising political career, Rosalynn served as his unwavering advocate and advisor. She later dedicated herself to promoting mental wellness. During Jimmy’s presidency from 1977 to 1981, she held the honorary chair position for the President’s Commission on Mental Health, playing a pivotal role in the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act in 1980. Additionally, she championed the arts and arts programs.

As a couple, the former first lady and president coined a tender phrase they shared: “ILYTG,” signifying “I love you the goodest.” President Carter explained in a 2014 interview with PEOPLE, “‘I love you the goodest’ is what my mother and daddy used to say back and forth, and I picked it up with Rosa. Now all our children do the same thing – ILYTG in phone calls or emails, typically using just the initials.”

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