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Nancy Reagan: She Made It Count

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Mar. 10 2016, Published 2:30 a.m. ET

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On Sunday, March 6th, Former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94 in her Los Angeles home, 12 years after the death of her husband and former president Ronald Reagan.

Spokesperson Joanne Drake said in a press release that the cause of death was congestive heart failure and that prior to the funeral service there is an opportunity for the public to pay their respects.

Some high-profile figures came out on Twitter this week share their condolences.

Chelsea Clinton:

My thoughts & prayers are with Nancy Reagan’s family and friends. Very sad to learn of her passing.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 6, 2016

Joy Ann Reid:

Deepest condolences to the Reagan family, including @RonReaganShow on the passing of Nancy Reagan. — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 6, 2016

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And others came to celebrate her life and legacy, highlighting her work and impact. Elizabeth Banks gives a great segway into the #Boss that Nancy Reagan was:

I sat near #Nancy Reagan once and felt like a teenager seeing one of my idols. She was a BOSS. #RIPNancy

— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) March 6, 2016

Nancy Reagan was so much more than the widow or wife of Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States. Nancy Davis Reagan, born Anne Frances Robbins, held her own as an actress and an influencer. She was an actress who starred in 11 movies who later becames the political partner of President Reagan. Maria Shriver, American journalist, activist, author of six best-selling books, and former First Lady of California shared the following on her predecessor:

Sending love to Nancy Reagan’s family. She served our country and the state of California with class — Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) March 6, 2016

In 1967 when Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California, the Reagans traded in the glamour of Hollywood for a life of politics. Prior to becoming FLOTUS, Nancy was the First Lady of California.

NBC News shared that during the Reagan governance of California (1967 to 1975), Nancy Reagan worked with numerous charitable groups, and spent hours visiting veterans, the elderly, and the emotionally and physically handicapped. It was during this time that she became involved in the Foster Grandparents Program, which focused on providing a way for volunteers aged 55 and over to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.

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The Senior Corps honored her as a champion of service via Twitter:

With the passing of Mrs. Reagan, we remember her as a true champion of serving others. https://t.co/VlEhGN8rsu pic.twitter.com/a7RBZ0S1zA

— Senior Corps (@seniorcorps) March 8, 2016

Ultimately, Nancy was a woman admired for her perseverance and desire to give back to the community. Reese Witherspoon highlighted this spirit the following tweet:

“I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out.” – #NancyReagan — Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) March 7, 2016


Nancy Reagan carried this desire to help the community into the White House where she served as First Lady for two terms  from 1981- 1989.

Nancy Reagan was a great American and an influential first lady, and she will be missed. https://t.co/Vb4p1RnVYD

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) March 7, 2016

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Nancy’s biography, released by her office, states that her primary focus during and after serving as First Lady was the war on drugs, especially among youth. Her campaign was personal and broadcast well throughout the nation and abroad. She traveled nearly 250,000 miles throughout the United States and abroad in conjunction with her campaign to fight substance abuse. As First Lady, she was also honored by the Girl Scouts of America. In a recent blog post, the Girl Scouts of America recognized Nancy Reagan as a woman who held the same vision as their founder Juliette Gordon Low: that dedicated and dynamic leaders were vital to helping girls develop their full potential. During her eight years as First Lady, Nancy Reagan served as the honorary National President of the Girl Scouts.

Rest in peace Nancy Reagan. https://t.co/VLvLdM71Ef pic.twitter.com/OJWUuYsZNd — Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) March 6, 2016

Certainly not least, Nancy was a strong champion for her husband. Many, like Katie Couric, have highlighted the undying love that the two held for one another and the fact that she is finally reunited with Ronnie.

Nancy Reagan was a wonderful, elegant First Lady who loved her husband more than life itself. #RIPdearNancy pic.twitter.com/vXosZ8mcNH

— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) March 6, 2016

Her love was particularly noted during the last 10 years of Ronald Reagan’s life that she remembers as her “long farewell” since he was fighting with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Kamala Harris:

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Nancy Reagan redefined the role of 1st Lady & left a lasting mark in the fight to treat Alzheimer’s. The Reagan family has my sympathies. — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 7, 2016

Her most recent public appearances were specifically addressing stem cell research and Alzheimer’s research with George W. Bush in 2002 and standing with President Obama in 2009 when he overturned Bush’s policy.

On Sunday, USA Today highlighted President Obama’s words for Nancy Reagan: “There are few who are not moved by the love that Mrs. Reagan felt for her husband — and fewer still who are not inspired by how this love led her to take up the twin causes of stem cell research and Alzheimer’s research.” 

FLOTUS Michelle Obama acknowledged Nancy Reagan’s passing and impact in her speech at the Let Girls Learn event for International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8th.

Mrs. Reagan was a woman of incredible strength and grace, and she was a passionate advocate for so many important issues, for the example she set both during her time in the White House and beyond.” – Michelle Obama

The public viewing started on Wednesday afternoon at Simi Valley’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and will continue on Thursday, March 10th from 10 AM- 2 PM.

Funeral services will be held Friday, March 11, 2016 where she will be laid to rest next to President Ronald Reagan on a hillside tomb facing west toward the Pacific Ocean.

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Some attending guests include Captain Bolt, Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, Katie Couric, Sam Donaldson, Chris Matthews, Newt and Callista Gingrich, Wayne Newton, Anjelica Huston, Melissa Rivers, Tina Sinatra, and Mr. T.

On Monday, the White House released that First Lady Michelle Obama would also be attending the service. Funeral services are closed to the public.

Melissa Joan Hart:

Farewell to one of America’s great women #NancyReagan. It was a pleasure to shake your hand and… https://t.co/jbS98ICd6N

— Melissa Joan Hart (@MelissaJoanHart) March 6, 2016

In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Reagan requested that contributions be made to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation at . 

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