Walter Mondale, former Vice President under President Jimmy Carter, is experiencing heartache as his wife Joan Mondale is entering hospice care. Once know as “Joan of Art” for her work as a national cultural arts advocate, she was noted around the country for her passion during the Carter administration. Joan was an avid potter when Jimmy Carter was elected president, but pottery quickly took a back seat as life soon changed drastically for both her and her husband.
A statement regarding Joan’s health decline was issued by the church she and Walter Mondale have long attended–the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The family is asking for privacy at this time, as Joan Mondale’s “life on this earth moves peacefully to its close,” the statement reads.
Joan Mondale is 83 years old.
Walter Mondale is the oldest of all of the five living former vice presidents. He has, of course, been retired from his work in Washington for more than three decades now. He was a Democratic Senator in Minnesota before Jimmy Carter asked him to join his presidential campaign. The pair served only one term in Washington, being defeated in 1980 by Ronald Reagan. Mondale went on to serve on the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and was an Ambassador to Japan under President Bill Clinton.
It will no doubt be heart wrenching for Walter Mondale to watch his beloved wife Joan slip away, but with the backing of their church family and their daughter Ted–Walter and Joan Mondale lost their only daughter Eleanor Mondale to brain cancer back in 2011 at the age of 51–he will find the strength to persevere.
It wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Walter Mondale as a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton, should she officially throw her hat into that proverbial ring and run for president in 2016.
Prayers are no doubt going out to both Walter and Joan Mondale from around the world as she enters these final days of her life.
Image via Wikimedia Commons