'Like losing family': Mourners pay respects to first lady Rosalynn Carter in Atlanta
Georgians streamed into the Carter Center to say goodbye to first lady Rosalynn Carter.
Public repose services were held Monday evening at the Carter Center for the trailblazing former first lady, who died Nov. 19 at age 96 after a battle with dementia.
Jennifer Jenkins came with her stepdaughter and husband to honor Carter. She said she has a personal connection to Carter, who mentored her at Agnes Scott College and wrote her letters of recommendation for multiple scholarships.
“All of those scholarships were absolutely essential," Jenkins said. "I couldn't have afforded to have the extraordinary education I have if it had not been for her — her personal endorsement of my commitment to service from a very young age. So this is — this is like losing family.”
Kipp Carr and his wife paid their respects to Carter, saying that it was an opportunity to witness history. Carr said that Carter had a unique impact on Georgia.
"We will not see anyone quite like Mrs. Carter again," Carr said. "I think that she has made an indelible impact on American history."
Francis Woodar was a teenager when President Jimmy Carter was in office. She looked up to Rosalynn Carter and was inspired by the first lady's commitment to community service — and how she championed "the little person."
"She was ... always for community and always was willing to do whatever she could to help the community," Woodar said "And when I was younger, there were not a lot of first ladies that I could look up to."
Myra Toliver-Stinnett brought her 19-year-old granddaughter to pay respects to Carter. Toliver-Stinnett said that she has met the Carters before and volunteers with the Carter Center.
"I feel very close to them," she said. "I'm very thankful and grateful and humbled to volunteer as such an organization that believes in equality and helping others."
Carter’s invite-only tribute service takes place in Atlanta on Tuesday, and her funeral will be held in Plains on Wednesday.