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A black mourning drape over the oil canvas portrait of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, painted by American artist George Augusta in 1984, hangs in the White House, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jack Auresto)

Rosalynn Carter to Be Honored by Presidents, Fellow First Ladies Tuesday

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In a final goodbye, former President Jimmy Carter, who is in hospice care, plans to attend the national tribute service for his wife and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Carter Center confirmed.

The memorial service will be held Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. 

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, along with former President Clinton and all living former first ladies are expected to attend today's service.

Mrs. Carter's surviving grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Mrs. Carter, the lifelong partner and confidant of her husband 99-year-old Jimmy, died on Nov. 19 at 96 years old. They were married for 77 years, making them the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history.

Devout Baptists throughout their marriage, the Carters attended Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains. During their time in the White House, the Carters worshipped at the First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. 

Well-wishers flocked to the Carter Presidential Museum and Library in Atlanta on Monday to pay their respects to Mrs.Carter and celebrate her humanitarian legacy.

"She and President Carter wanted to do something after they left the White House," Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander said.  "And this was a great platform for them. And they created a group of experts. And we're just thrilled to be able to carry that on. "

Widely recognized as a leading advocate for mental health and caregiving, the former first lady aimed to build a more caring society.

"The support that the president relied on with the first lady. I think she was a role model for women for the past and for the present and I just wanted to come here today to honor her," Atlanta resident Pauline Jennett said.

Tuesday's tribute service for Mrs. Carter will be held at the Glenn Memorial Church at Emory University where she worked as a distinguished fellow in Emory's department of women's studies from 1990 to 2018.

Mrs. Carter will also be remembered for the small things, such as how she and her husband lived simple lives in a small home, with old kitchen appliances they refused to replace.

More importantly, they were steadfast in their devotion to Jesus Christ. The couple reportedly read the Bible together each night before they went to bed.

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