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Final farewell held for Rosalynn Carter: What to know about her kids, grandkids

The late Rosalynn Carter was honored Tuesday at a memorial service held at Emory University's Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta.

The former first lady died on Nov. 19, two days after the Carter family announced publicly that their matriarch had started hospice care.

"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement at the time. "She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

Rosalynn Carter had been diagnosed with dementia earlier this year.

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In addition to her longtime advocacy for mental health, Carter was also the head of a large extended family.

Meet Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter's family

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, who were married for 77 years, had four children: three sons -- John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey -- and one daughter, Amy Lynn.

Carter was also the grandmother of 12 (one deceased) and great-grandmother to 14 children, according to the Jimmy Carter Library.

PHOTO: A portrait of President Jimmy Carter and his extended family. (Corbis via Getty Images)
PHOTO: A portrait of President Jimmy Carter and his extended family. (Corbis via Getty Images)

The Carters grew up together as neighbors and schoolmates in Plains and went on to become the longest-married couple in presidential history. They married on July 7, 1946.

PHOTO: FILE - Former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn prior to a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sept. 30, 2018 in Atlanta. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: FILE - Former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn prior to a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sept. 30, 2018 in Atlanta. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images, FILE)

Jimmy Carter told ABC News in 2021 that the key to their long and happy marriage included taking the time to both "share as much as we possibly can" but also giving each other permission to pursue separate interests.

"We've survived this long together because first of all, we give each other plenty of space to do our own thing," he said at the time.

"We're always looking to do things or find things we can do together, like fly fishing and bird watching and just going out to the pond, catch a fish," Rosalynn Carter added.

Learn more about the children who brought so much joy to the former first lady throughout her life.

PHOTO: Democratic Presidential nominee, Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn, are surrounded by family on the podium after Carter made his acceptance speech. (Bettmann Archive via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Democratic Presidential nominee, Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn, are surrounded by family on the podium after Carter made his acceptance speech. (Bettmann Archive via Getty Images, FILE)

Jack Carter

Jack Carter was born in Virginia in July 1947, nearly a year after his parents' marriage.

Now 76, he owns an investment company and lives in Las Vegas.

The eldest Carter son was previously a lawyer and a businessman and in 2016, followed his father into politics. He ran as a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Nevada but lost to incumbent Republican Sen. John Ensign.

PHOTO: U.S. Senate candidate Jack Carter is greeted by supporters as he walks into the Channel 8 studios in Las Vegas for a debate with incumbent U.S. Sen. John Ensign, Oct. 15, 2006. (John Locher/AP)
PHOTO: U.S. Senate candidate Jack Carter is greeted by supporters as he walks into the Channel 8 studios in Las Vegas for a debate with incumbent U.S. Sen. John Ensign, Oct. 15, 2006. (John Locher/AP)

He was previously married to Juliette "Judy" Langford and they share two children – son Jason James and daughter Sarah Rosemary, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, which is run by the University of Georgia. Jack Carter has been married to Elizabeth Brasfield since 1992.

Jason Carter delivered the eulogy Tuesday at his grandmother's service.

Chip Carter

James Earl Carter III, named after his father, was born in Hawaii in April 1950.

The 73-year-old also grew up in his father's hometown of Plains but in a 2008 interview with the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, he said his nickname Chip was given to him while he was still in Honolulu.

PHOTO: President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter along with their son, Chip, and his wife, Caron, arrive at the White House, Jan. 15, 1978, from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. (Barry Thumma/AP)
PHOTO: President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter along with their son, Chip, and his wife, Caron, arrive at the White House, Jan. 15, 1978, from the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. (Barry Thumma/AP)

"'Chip' is Hawaiian for 'baby' and my blue armband when I was born had 'Chip Carter' written on it, which meant 'baby Carter' and that's how I got the name Chip," he said.

MORE: Jimmy Carter's life in pictures

Chip Carter was married in 1973 to Caron Griffin and they had a son named James Earl Carter IV. The couple divorced in 1980. Chip Carter would later marry Ginger Hodges and they had a daughter named Margaret Alicia Carter. Today, Chip Carter is married to Becky Payne, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Chip Carter welcomed everyone to Tuesday's service and called his mother his "hero."

"I will always love my mother. I will cherish how she and Dad raised their children. They'd given us such a great example of how a couple should relate. Let me finish by saying that my mother, Rosalynn Carter, was the most beautiful woman I've ever met and pretty to look at to. Thank you," he said.

Jeff Carter

Donnel Jeffrey Carter is the youngest son and third child of the former president and former first lady.

Jeff Carter was born in August 1952 in Connecticut and attended Georgia Southwestern State University, where he would meet his future wife, the late Annette Davis Carter.

PHOTO: Jeff Carter, son of President Jimmy Carter, gives Pele a plaque thanking Pele for his contributions while playing for the New York Cosmos during ceremonies before Pele's last game, Oct. 1, 1977 at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Red/AP)
PHOTO: Jeff Carter, son of President Jimmy Carter, gives Pele a plaque thanking Pele for his contributions while playing for the New York Cosmos during ceremonies before Pele's last game, Oct. 1, 1977 at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Red/AP)

The couple married in 1975, lived at the White House and, later, had three children – sons Joshua, Jeremy and James. Jeremy Carter died in 2015 after an apparent heart attack, according to the biography "His Very Best Jimmy Carter, a Life," by Jonathan Alter.

Amy Carter

Amy Lynn Carter is the youngest of the Carter kids and was born in Plains in October 1967.

Amy was among those to speak at Tuesday's service, reading letters Jimmy had written to Rosalynn, "because he isn't able to speak to you today."

PHOTO: Amy Carter with her father Jimmy and mother Rosalynn Carter in a family suite at the Americana Hotel in Washington, D.C., July 14, 1976. (Newsday via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Amy Carter with her father Jimmy and mother Rosalynn Carter in a family suite at the Americana Hotel in Washington, D.C., July 14, 1976. (Newsday via Getty Images)

She spent her young teenage years in the White House when her father was president and her mother was first lady, between 1977 and 1981.

PHOTO: FILE - View of future First Lady Rosalynn Carter (fore left), daughter Amy, and husband, US President-Elect Jimmy Carter, as they wave, Atlanta, Nov. 3, 1976. (Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
PHOTO: FILE - View of future First Lady Rosalynn Carter (fore left), daughter Amy, and husband, US President-Elect Jimmy Carter, as they wave, Atlanta, Nov. 3, 1976. (Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

In 1996, Amy Carter married James Wentzel and the couple had a son, Hugo. The couple later divorced and Amy Carter remarried Jay Kelly. They also welcomed a son, named Errol Carter Kelly.

In the summer of 2023, Hugo James Wentzel appeared on the second season of the reality competition show "Claim to Fame," which featured celebrity relatives, and revealed he was one of the Carters' grandchildren.

"He's an amazing grandpa, honestly. I love him so much. I call him Papa," Wentzel said of the former president. "He led America and my family very well. I stand for everything he stands for. He believes in equality for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, anything. He's just an amazing person. I aspire to be like him one day."

At her mother's memorial service, Amy Carter delivered a reading.

"My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad. Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life," Amy Carter said. "Because he isn't able to speak to you today. I am going to share some of his words about loving and missing her."

"This is from a letter he wrote 75 years ago while he was serving in the Navy. 'My darling, every time I have ever been away from you, I have been thrilled when I returned to discover just how wonderful you are. While I'm away, I try to convince myself that you really are not, could not be as sweet and beautiful as I remember. But when I see you, I fall in love with you all over again. Does that seem strange to you? It doesn't to me. Goodbye, darling. Until tomorrow, Jimmy,'" she finished.

Final farewell held for Rosalynn Carter: What to know about her kids, grandkids originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com