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Honoring The Late First Lady Nancy Reagan

Honoring The Late First Lady Nancy Reagan

The influential wife of our 40th president has passed at 94.

Published March 6th

Nancy Reagan, one of the most influential first ladies our country has seen, today (March 6) has passed away in her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.

According to her spokeswoman, Joanne Drake, the former first lady’s cause of death was congestive heart failure.

As reported by Drake in a statement, “Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004.” Prior to the funeral service, there will be an opportunity for the public to pay their respects at the Library. 

"It is a very sad day," Ken Duberstein, former Ronald Reagan Chief of Staff, told NBC News. "Every time she was in the room, he was better, and every time he was in the room she was better. She brought a sense of class and dignity and elegance that everybody admired."

As family members, others close to the family, friends and U.S. citizens take to social media to express their reaction to the news, one sentiment is quite common, as expressed by her stepson Michael Reagan on Facebook: “She is once again with the man she loved.”

"Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House," President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle said today in a statement. "She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice."

"Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here," the statement from the Obamas continues. "Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives."

The Reagan's marriage lasted 52 years, until Ronald passed away in 2004, after enduring a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, which later Nancy would become a devoted advocate for finding a cure. Their loving relationship often was in the public eye, with Nancy commonly stating that her life began when the two were married. The duo met in the early 1950s when Nancy was an actress and Ronald was then an actor himself and then-president of the Screen Actors Guild.

The late first lady was heavily involved with Ronald Reagan’s presidency, which in turn was met almost equally with criticism and support. Throughout the years, Nancy promoted an anti-drug campaign “Just Say No,” was a supporter of abortion rights during an anti-abortion administration and worked tirelessly to help protect her husband’s image in the public eye. She also was the first First Lady to address the United Nations General Assembly.

From her own political involvement to being an adoring, loving wife, Nancy played a seminal role in the career of our 40th president, and it is widely stated as common knowledge that without her, there would have been no Reagan presidency. 

As shared in Drake’s statement, in lieu of flowers, the late Mrs. Reagan had asked that contributions be made to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation

We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren.  And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan's life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.

We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren.  And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan's life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.

 (Photo: courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidental Library/Getty Images)

Written by KC Orcutt

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