Rosalynn Carter: Remembering her visits to Houston, her legacy extended into the Bayou City

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter answers questions during a news conference at a Habitat for Humanity building site Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter have volunteered a week of their time annually to Habitat for Humanity since 1984, events dubbed "Carter work projects" that draw thousands of volunteers and take months of planning. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (Mark Humphrey, Associated Press)

HOUSTONRosalynn Carter died Sunday at the age of 96.

The Carter Center announced that former first lady’s death on social media.

Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, was married to the former president for 77 years. She is survived by her children — Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy — and 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A grandson died in 2015.

Her legacy has some Houston ties, as the former first lady visited the city several times.

1976 visit

Rosalynn Carter visited in 1976. In this photo from the Associated Press, she watches as her daughter Amy Carter gets her face painted at a Halloween party at the Poe Elementary School, Oct. 30, 1976, in Houston.

Rosalynn Carter, center, watches as daughter Amy Carter gets her face painted at a Halloween party at the Poe Elementary School, Oct. 30, 1976, Houston, Tex. The woman at right is unidentified. (AP Photo) (1976 AP )

1977 visit for National Women’s Conference

First Lady Rosalynn Carter spoke at the opening reception of the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas on November 18, 1977.

“Joining Mrs. Carter and speaking at the opening reception were former First Ladies Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson along with activists Coretta Scott King, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Barbara Jordan, Liz Carpenter, Jean Stapleton, and Maya Angelou. In 1975 President Gerald Ford issued an executive order to create the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year to promote equality between men and women and dedicated $5 million for state and national conferences. In 1977 President Carter appointed Bella Abzug to head a new committee which culminated in the National Women’s Conference.”

More photos of her in Houston in 1979.

Here are some of the heartfelt remembrances shared from Houston people and institutions -- and beyond, remembering Rosalynn Carter and her memory:

Rosalynn Carter, along with former President Jimmy Carter were proponents of Habitat for Humanity across the nation, often helping with projects in cities to provide affordable housing for families.

Houston has its own Habitat for Humanity arm (that KPRC 2 has worked with for many years). It’s nice to think that Rosalynn Carter’s legacy of kindness and service extends here through those ongoing Habitat for Humanity efforts.

And while this doesn’t really have a Houston connection, I wanted to include this sweet cartoon I found on social media by cartoonish Randy Bish.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.