Reaction from Americus to Rosalynn Carter’s passing

Published 9:10 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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AMERICUS – The tributes continue to pour in from Americus and Sumter County, in addition to the state of Georgia, the nation and the world, regarding the passing of Rosalynn Carter.

No matter who one might talk to in Americus, one would hear almost the very same thing about Rosalynn Carter. The thing that struck Bill Harris was the degree of kindness that Mrs. Carter showed to many people. “She was one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met,” Harris said. “She’s going to be dearly missed. She did so much for so many people. She was an amazing lady.”

Karl Bond is the Director of Operations and Administration at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. For him, Carter’s passing is a huge loss. “It’s a loss for the community for sure,” Bond said. “She was definitely an influential person here in town. It’s a sad day for us.”

According to Franklin Harris, who works as a front desk clerk at the Windsor Hotel, what struck him about Mrs. Carter is the impact she had on women’s culture as a whole. “In my opinion, she did a lot for women’s culture and it will be definitely pushed on within her legacy,” Harris said. “What she stood for was very admirable. I think they lived a really good life. It’s very sad to see her go and unfortunately Jimmy to follow. They lived their lives well.”

Kyle Crew had the pleasure of meeting Rosalynn Carter when he was younger. “I know she was a huge advocate for Caregiving and Nursing and Georgia Southwestern State University,” Crew said. “I also think she was a big advocate for mental health.” Crew went on to say that Rosalynn Carter did a lot behind the scenes when Jimmy Carter ran for the Presidency, during his Presidency and afterward.

“I think she was a big part of it, but never wanted recognition,” Crew said.

One person in Americus who knew Rosalynn Carter extremely well was Stewart Perry, founder of the Perry Wellness Center. “I’ve been very fortunate to have been a friend of hers and to have traveled the country in the mental health movement,” Perry said. “It has been unreal to me how many people’s lives she has touched throughout the United States and the world by just the work that she has done by being an advocate for us, people like myself, who suffer from mental illness.”

Perry went on to say that back in 1999, he walked 1,003 miles to Chicago and AMA headquarters. “All the way from here to Chicago, I met hundreds and hundreds of people who I was able to talk to that she (Rosalynn Carter) had already reached through her messages about mental health and how depression works in a person and the treatments and things that you can do and how to erase the stigma of mental health,” Perry said. He went on to say that Mrs. Carter helped to break the stigma of mental health so that people who suffer from mental issues such as depression can reach out for help. Perry also stated that Rosalynn Carter did a lot to help college students in that she showed them that they can reach out for help with mental health issues as well. “Her legacy will live on for a long, long time,” Perry said. “

Perry went on to say that Rosalynn Carter played a significant role in helping him start the Perry Wellness Center. “She helped to establish this with all of her advocacy that she did and she helped me as I was starting my career. My career was started by her,” Perry said.

One thing is for sure. There are many people here in Americus and throughout Sumter County who were impacted by the work that Rosalynn Carter did in the areas of Caregiving, mental health and women’s rights. She did it all with tremendous grace and kindness and will be sorely missed.