Joan Mondale

  • Born: August 8, 1930
  • Died: February 3, 2014
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Joan Mondale, wife of Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Walter Mondale, ended a four-day campaign swing in the Midwest when she held a press conference upon her arrival at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Oct. 23, 1976, Minneapolis, Minn.

Former 2nd lady dies at age 83

BRIAN BAKST, The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador to Japan, died Monday. She was 83.

Mondale's husband Walter, sons Ted and William and other family members were by her side when she died, the family said in a statement released by their church. The family had announced Sunday that she had gone into hospice care, but declined to discuss her illness.

Joan Mondale was given a grand platform to promote the arts when her husband, then a Democratic senator, was elected Jimmy Carter's vice president in 1976.

She transformed the role of the second lady. Carter named her honorary chairwoman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, and in that role she frequently traveled to museums, theaters and artist studios on the administration's behalf. She lobbied Congress and states to boost public arts programs and funding.

Mondale also showcased the work of prominent artists in the vice presidential residence, including photographer Ansel Adams, sculptor David Smith and painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

More recently, she sat on the U.S. Postal Service panel that has a role in selecting stamp designs, a role she gave up in 2010.

As Carter's No. 2, Walter Mondale was seen as a trusted adviser and credited with making the office of the vice president more relevant. It was natural that his wife would do the same for her role. Vice presidential aide Al Eisele once said of his boss: "It was important to him that Joan not just be the vice president's wife, but his partner."

During Carter's single term as president, Joan Mondale immersed herself in the capital's art scene and gave weekly tours at the National Gallery of Art.

She would later take her cultural zeal overseas when President Bill Clinton named her husband ambassador to Japan. She relished the chance to study Japanese art and give dignitaries clay pots she made as gifts. In her 1972 book, "Politics in Art," Joan Mondale framed a connection between the two.

"Sometimes we do not realize how important our participation in politics is. Often we need to be reminded of our duty as citizens," she wrote. "Artists can do just that; they can look at our politicians, our institutions and our problems to help us understand them better."


Condolence & Memory Journal

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Posted by Rie - EUbOjZkIMG8v, MA - qVildIoumB   July 03, 2015

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Posted by Aira - GAhLNgpWxd, AL - AENVssOhLeu   July 02, 2015

To the Mondale family, our sincere condolences.

Posted by Erich And Elisabeth Bogel - Scandia, MN - Not   February 09, 2014

Candle

I am saddened to have learned of the passing of Mrs. Mondale. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Mondale family. I pray the Lord will comfort you and provide you peace in the difficult time ahead. May you hold onto your memories tightly and know that Mrs. Mondale is in a better place and watching over you. God bless you all. Susan S. - Richmond VA

Posted by Susan S. - Richmond, VA - not related   February 08, 2014


Family Album

Joan Mondale, wife of Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Walter Mondale, ended a four-day campaign swing in the Midwest when she held a press conference upon her arrival at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, Oct. 23, 1976, Minneapolis, Minn.
In this Sept. 10, 1984 file photo, Joan Mondale, wife of the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, center, waves to the campaign workers gathered at the Illinois headquarters for the Mondale-Ferraro election effort, in Chicago. Mondale is flanked by campaign worker Julie Grace, holdings Lauren Jascula, who also wanted to show her support. Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. She was 83.
In this July 19, 1984 file photo, then Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale and his wife Joan smile broadly as they thank the delegates from the podium following Mondale's nomination in San Francisco. Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. She was 83.
Joan Mondale, wife of the vice president, is greeted at the Atlanta Symphony by a group of children from Swainsboro, Ga., March 3, 1978.