News

Joan Mondale, wife of former U.S. Vice President, dies at 83

Joan Mondale, wife of former U.S. Vice President, dies at 83

FORMER 'SECOND' LADY: Named by former President Jimmy Carter as honorary chairperson of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, Mondale, seen here with husband and former Vice President Walter Mondale, advocated for government support of the arts across the United States, according to a biography from the Minnesota Historical Society. Photo: Reuters

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.

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Deaths 

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 Society.

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.

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)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

NFL: Patriots likely deliberately deflated balls, Brady ‘generally aware’

deflategate

The investigation into "DeflateGate" is finally over and reveals what many people suspected.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘Super’ soccer mascot is super drunk

14-overlay

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Austria Vienna's mascot - a cape-wearing lion named "Super Leo" - has fallen and he can't get up.

in National, Sports

Boston bomber volunteered as family fell apart, jurors told

bostonbombing

Lawyers seeking to spare convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty called witnesses who described his volunteer work, his adoration of his older brother, and his father's mental illness in the years before the attack.

in Entertainment, Sports

Ride LeBron’s charity roller coaster

lebronjames

Sixty-four people anted up around $10,000 for the NBA star's charity, and the privilege of getting the first ride on a new roller coaster at Cedar Point.

in Sports

Preview: NHL games of the night

25-overlay3

A look at tonight's slate of Stanley Cup playoff games.