Farewell, Nancy

Nate Jackson · Mar. 7, 2016

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at age 94. Coming so close on the heels of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, it feels that yet another tangible connection to the Reagan Era has been lost, and we mourn it.

According to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, “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.”

The Foundation also recounted:

After leaving the White House on January 20, 1989, Mrs. Reagan established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to continue her campaign to educate people about the serious dangers of substance abuse. In 1994, the Nancy Reagan Foundation joined forces with the BEST Foundation For A Drug-Free Tomorrow and developed the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program, a drug prevention and life-skills program for youth.

For ten years, Mrs. Reagan’s priority was caring for her husband at home as he battled Alzheimer’s Disease. Following his death in 2004, she was devoted to projects related to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where she served on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and promoted her husband’s legacy of leadership and freedom.

Nancy Reagan brought beauty and a decorum to the White House and never forgot that it wasn’t actually her house. “Families think about coming to the White House for years,” she once said. “They plan for it, they save for it, they look forward to it, and it means so much.” The White House belongs to the American people, and Nancy knew it, which is why she protested if events closed portions of the White House to public viewing.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan loved each other deeply — he used to say he missed her even “when she’s just in the next room.” For her part, she wanted “everyone to feel about Ronnie the way I do” — that is, a profound love. Indeed, in 1998, she said, “When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it’s true. It did.”

Now that her life is completed, we’re grateful that it did begin, and we’re thankful for her part in the Reagan Revolution.

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