Georgia lawmakers lead U.S. House tribute to Rosalynn Carter

WASHINGTON — Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was just as dedicated to her public service and political goals as she was to her husband and family, a bipartisan group of Georgia lawmakers said Tuesday during a tribute on the U.S. House floor.

The memorial was led by U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, the longest-serving member of Georgia’s congressional delegation, and Rep. Austin Scott, the state’s senior Republican.

Bishop kicked things off by recounting Carter’s biography and his own ties to her family. He said that in 1972, then-Gov. Jimmy Carter hired him as an attorney in his administration. Their two southwest Georgia-based families have remained in contact ever since.

“It’s been an honor to know Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter for more than half a century, and I will always cherish their friendship as well as their sage counsel and advice, which has been invaluable to me as I served in Congress,” said Bishop, an Albany Democrat. “They have been my constituents for 31 years, and they did not hold back in expressing their opinion on the issues of the day. Together, they rose to great heights, supporting and cherishing each other along the way, from the Plains peanut fields to the White House and communities around the globe.”

Carter died Nov. 19 at age 96 and two days after her representatives announced she had entered hospice care. She had been married to former President Jimmy Carter, 99, for 77 years.

In all, half of the state’s 14 delegation members joined the tribute, with Reps. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler; Hank Johnson, D-Atlanta; Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville; Lucy McBath, D-Marietta; and Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, also taking part.

Scott noted that in addition to serving as the first lady of both Georgia and the United States, Rosalynn Carter was also a Navy wife and devout Christian who well into her later years taught Sunday school with her husband. He said he imagined she would have been proud to know that every living former first lady attended her memorial service last week in Atlanta.

“Rosalynn Carter’s dedication to public service made her an inspiration to everyone,” said Scott, a Tifton Republican. “Our nation is thankful for her grace and bipartisanship as first lady.”

REMEMBERING ROSALYNN CARTER

To celebrate the indelible mark Rosalynn Carter left on our country, we share our poignant photography from throughout last week as admirers gathered to say goodbye. You can purchase a copy of this special section, Farewell, Mrs. Carter, by visiting ajc.com/collectibles.

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