Family of Rosalynn Carter to say final goodbyes as she's laid to rest

The former first lady will be buried at her home in Plains, Georgia — which she shared with her husband of 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter.
Posted at 10:23 AM, Nov 29, 2023

On the third day of ceremonies honoring Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady is finally being laid to rest.

Unlike the first two days of tributes, Wednesday’s was a more intimate service for family members and some invited guests.

The private service took place at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Carter’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Brynn Anderson / AP

After the church service, the former first lady was transported for a private burial with family to her home in Plains. She and former President Jimmy Carter, her husband of 77 years, lived there for the entirety of their time together — except only when Carter served as governor and president.

Rosalynn will be buried in a plot she will one day share with her husband.

Both Rosalynn and Jimmy were born in Plains, and knew each other their whole lives.

After recently entering hospice care, Rosalynn died at home at the age of 96. Jimmy, who is 99, also entered end-of-life care 10 months ago.

Despite being in hospice, Jimmy attended Rosalynn's ceremonies from his wheelchair, which included a three-hour trek to Atlanta for a broader service the day prior.

John Bazemore / AP

Ceremonies for the former first lady began Monday with a motorcade through Atlanta. Members of the public were invited to pay their respects as she lay in repose at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

On Tuesday, a grand service in Atlanta with a prestigious guest list saw music, scriptures and speeches celebrating Carter as a wife, mother and pillar in politics.

In attendance were U.S. President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, in addition to every living former first lady: Melania Trump, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton was also in attendance.

Presidents, fellow first ladies gather for Rosalynn Carter's services
A tribute service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church.

Presidents, fellow first ladies gather for Rosalynn Carter's services

Former President Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn's husband of 77 years, was in attendance despite being in hospice care for the past 10 months.


Carter’s children and grandchildren also attended, some of whom took part in her service. Her son Chip Carter and grandson Jason Carter delivered moving speeches that also garnered several laughs. Her daughter Amy Carter read a love letter from Jimmy to Rosalynn written 75 years ago. Some of Rosalynn’s grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers.

Jimmy sat up front in his wheelchair wearing a special blanket that featured a picture of him and Rosalynn, as well as scenery from their hometown of Plains, Georgia.

Journalist Judy Woodruff, who has an extensive history covering the Carters, and longtime aide and friend Kathy Cade also delivered speeches on the trailblazer they knew as Rosalynn.

Speakers painted a picture of a dynamic woman with traits of leadership and power, but also shared intimate stories showcasing her funny and lighthearted nature.

Pastor Tony Lowden, the Carters' personal pastor, closed the ceremony with words of his own. 

Jimmy Carter attends wife's service, wears blanket honoring her
Former President Jimmy Carter arrives to attend a tribute service for his wife and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Jimmy Carter attends wife's service, wears blanket honoring her

Former President Jimmy Carter has been in hospice care since February after a series of short hospital stays.