PLAINS, Ga. — Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest Wednesday in a private ceremony at her family’s home in Plains, Georgia, WSB-TV reported.
Friends and family gathered earlier Wednesday for a funeral service at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains. The former first lady and her husband of 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter, had been active at the church since returning to Georgia in 1981 following their time in Washington D.C.
Both Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were born and raised in Plains. They had been friends and neighbors long before they got married in 1946.
Pastor Tony Lowden told mourners gathered for Rosalynn Carter’s funeral that she was more than “just the first lady of the White House,” WSB reported.
“She served every nation around the world,” he said, adding that the former first lady wouldn’t have wanted people to grieve for her. Instead, he said she’d tell the group, “’I’m free. ... Jimmy tried to beat me here. I got here first. I won the prize. Tell him I beat him and I’m waiting on him.’”
The former president, who entered home hospice care in February, attended Wednesday’s funeral in his wheelchair, according to WSB.
Rosalynn Carter’s niece, Kim Fuller, earlier told the news station that she believed the funeral would “start the healing process” for her family.
“It’s gonna be very different because in the back of my mind, I’m always gonna know that she’s not gonna be able to (come),” Fuller said, according to WSB. “I’m praying a lot and trying to get myself situated.”
After the funeral service, the casket was transferred back to a hearse to be taken to the Carter family residence, where Rosalynn Carter was interred.
The former first lady was laid to rest one day after President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and all four living former first ladies remembered her at a tribute service in Atlanta.
Rosalynn Carter, 96, died on Nov. 19, two days after her family announced that she had entered home hospice care.
She is survived by her husband, four children, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, according to WSB.