Exclusive: One man with close ties to the Carters speaks on Rosalynn Carter’s passing

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:44 AM EST
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PLAINS, Ga. (WTVM) - At the age of 96, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter died peacefully Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia.

“Time will show her to be, I think, one of the most significant first ladies, if not the most significant first lady,” said Tom DeTitta, director of World Communities Theater in Americus, Georgia.

DeTitta says once he heard the news of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s passing, he headed to Plains. He was commissioned to write a play about the Carters in the mid 1990s.

“They have always been very generous about spending time with the community in Sumter county,” said DeTitta.

The playwright says Rosalynn Carter changed what it meant to be a first lady.

“First ladies prior to Rosalynn Carter and probably since Rosalynn Carter have had almost a decorative function in the presidency, but not a substantive one. Rosalynn was definitely there in the mix of presidency in a way that no other first lady had been or had been since,” said DeTitta.

Sunday, First Lady Jill Biden offered her condolences upon hearing the news while visiting a naval station in Virginia.

“Marty, the girls, and I join all Georgians and the entire nation in mourning the loss of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter...a proud native Georgian, she had an indelible impact on our state and nation as a first lady to both... President Carter and his family are in our prayers as the world reflects on First Lady Carter’s storied life and the nation mourns her passing.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

“People can reflect on just how significant a first lady she was and a remarkable person she was,” DeTitta adds.

Ceremonies celebrating the life of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter will take place from Monday, Nov. 27, through Wednesday, Nov. 29, in Atlanta and Sumter County, Georgia.

For a schedule of ceremonies, click here