LATE FIRST LADIES HAD SIMILAR ROLES
July 12, 2007
The past 24 hours saw the passing of two First Ladies who, upon reflection, had several things in common. First Lady Bird Johnson, the widow of the late president Lyndon Johnson, and Pat Fordice, Mississippi's First Lady while her then husband, the late Kirk Fordice was Governor died within hours of each other.
Both were married to unabashedly salty rough and tumble politicians. Both were also known for their strength, dignity, class and-no doubt-forbearance. Both took it upon themselves to make beatifying their particular realms a priority. Both also aimed at making cultural appreciation available to the citizenry. While their husbands may have been controversial and even confrontational...both were gracious and beloved.
While Mrs. Johnson lived to the ripe age of 93, cancer claimed the life of Mrs. Fordice at just 72. But they both made their positive mark in their respective roles, eras, and locations. One on a national level...one on a state. They will both be remembered with affection and for their accomplishments.
One other sad and ironic note is that another former Mississippi First Lady, Zelma Finch, who had also been preceded in death by her husband, former Governor Cliff Finch, passed away quietly in the same 24 hour period.
Our sympathies are with all the loved ones of this trio of First Ladies who passed from this life all on the same day.