Nancy Reagan, the loving wife of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease — has died. She was 94. The former first lady died Sunday at her home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles of congestive heart failure.
Her best-known project as first lady was the “Just Say No” campaign to help kids and teens stay off drugs. In the white house she maintained that her only mission was to back her “Ronnie” and strengthen his presidency.
Mrs. Reagan carried that charge through the rest of her days. She served as a full-time caretaker as Alzheimer’s melted away her husband’s memory. After his death in June 2004 she dedicated herself to tending his legacy, especially at his presidential library in California, where he had served as governor.
She also championed Alzheimer’s patients, raising millions of dollars for research and breaking with fellow conservative Republicans to advocate for stem cell studies. Her dignity and perseverance in these post-White House roles helped smooth over the public’s fickle perceptions of the former first lady.
The Reagans’ mutual devotion over 52 years of marriage was legendary. They were always holding hands. She watched his political speeches with a look of such steady adoration it was dubbed “the gaze.” He called her “Mommy,” and penned a lifetime of gushing love notes. She saved these letters, published them as a book, and found them a comfort when he could no longer remember her.
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.
SOURCES: PBS NewsHour, YouTube
To receive similar content, “Like” us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/niagarabuzz.ca