President Jimmy Carter wore a blanket with his late wife Rosalynn Carter on it to her memorial service

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President Jimmy Carter wore a blanket with his late wife Rosalynn Carter on it to her memorial service
Former President Jimmy Carter, arrives to attend a tribute service for his wife and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, at Glenn Memorial Church, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, in Atlanta.Andrew Harnik/AP
  • The late Rosalynn Carter was honored at a memorial service in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday.
  • President Jimmy Carter, 99, attended the event that paid tribute to the former first lady.
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Former president Jimmy Carter kept an image of his wife Rosalynn Carter close at her funeral on Tuesday.

Rosalynn, who was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year, died on November 19 at age 96.

Jimmy, 99, has been in home hospice care since February. At the memorial service, he was wheeled into Atlanta's Glenn Memorial Church wearing an embroidered blanket depicting himself and Rosalynn, captioned "The Carters." The blanket also read "Plains, Georgia, Est. 1855" in a tribute to the couple's hometown, and featured images of dogwood flowers grown widely throughout Georgia, People magazine reported.

All living first ladies attended Rosalynn's funeral along with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, former president Bill Clinton, and several members of Congress.

The Carters had been married for 77 years at the time of Rosalynn's death, making them the longest married presidential couple in American history. The former president credited Rosalynn as the "pinnacle" of his life in a 2015 interview with The Carter Center.

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"The best thing I ever did was marrying Rosalynn," he said at the time.

President Jimmy Carter wore a blanket with his late wife Rosalynn Carter on it to her memorial service
US President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter dance at a White House Congressional Ball in 1978.Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Though they grew up in the same town, the Carters didn't become an item until 1945 when Jimmy was attending the Naval Academy and Rosalynn was in college, as Business Insider previously reported.

They married in 1946 when Jimmy was 21 and Rosalynn was 19, and went on to have four children, 11 grandchildren (one of their grandsons died in 2015), and 14 great-grandchildren, according to The Carter Center.

Rosalynn stood by Jimmy's side as he launched his political career, becoming a Georgia state senator, the state's governor, and eventually president. The pair dedicated their lives to service after Carter's tenure in the White House ended, working together on nearly everything they did.

"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," Jimmy said in a statement through The Carter Center after Rosalynn's death. "She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

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The former president slept at The Carter Center the night before the memorial service, according to the Associated Press.

"He never wants to be very far from her," Paige Smith, the Carter Center's CEO, said.

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