Mondale, wife of former U.S. vice president, dies at 83
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[February 04, 2014]
By David Bailey
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) — Joan Mondale, the
wife of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale and a champion of the
arts, died on Monday, her family said in a statement. She was 83.
Mondale died with the former vice president, her sons Ted and
William, and other family members at her side, said the statement
released through their church. She entered hospice care on Friday.
The family did not provide details on her illness.
"We are grateful for the expressions of love and support we have
received. Joan was greatly loved by many. We will miss her dearly,"
Walter Mondale, 86, said in a statement.
Mondale's support for the arts ran more than six decades from her
study and work in college through her promotion of arts programs and
artists during and after Walter Mondale's terms as a U.S. senator,
vice president and ambassador.
"A lifelong patron of the arts, Joan filled the vice presidential
mansion with works by dozens of artists, including many unknowns,
and later did the same at the U.S. embassy in Japan during her
husband's tenure as ambassador," President Barack Obama and his wife
said in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Vice President Mondale and his
family today as we remember with gratitude 'Joan of Art' and her
service to our nation."
Named by former President Jimmy Carter as honorary chairperson of
the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, Mondale
advocated for government support of the arts across the United
States, according to a biography from the Minnesota Historical
Mondale had given tours and lectures at the Minneapolis Institute of
Arts and gave tours of the National Gallery of Art after moving with
her family to Washington, the biography said. Her 1972 book,
"Politics in Art," was based on her lectures.
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She filled the vice president's residence with contemporary American
art during Walter Mondale's term and immersed herself in Japanese
art when he served as ambassador to Japan in the 1990s, according to
the historical society biography.
Joan Mondale was preceded in death by her daughter Eleanor Mondale,
who died in 2011 from brain cancer.
A service will be held on Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian
Church in Minneapolis, the statement said.
(Reporting by David Bailey; additional reporting by Roberta Rampton
in Washington; editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)
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