CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A Charleston woman who used to volunteer at The Carter Center said the former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, should be remembered for her dedication to helping others and supporting her husband.
Archie Burkel is the founder of the Charleston Hat Ladies and volunteered at The Carter Center in the mid-to-late 90s.
She was inspired by former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter’s determination to make a difference.
While volunteering at The Carter Center, Burkel said she worked with Rosalynn Carter to help her find care for her elderly mother.
Burkel said she was surprised by how approachable the Carters were, and she was inspired by what Rosalynn accomplished individually and alongside her husband.
“What they created has lasted decades now and it’s not closing its doors. So that’s really what we mere mortals can take from their story. It’s a love story, but it’s a giving back and finding unique ways to do it,” said Burkel.
She went on to say, “She was an absolute partner, but she was a creator- and like as her mother got elderly — where do people go, what are the services — so she had her own thing, but she’d be next to him working on the habitat houses and she’d be there the rest of the time.”
Burkel said she was interim volunteer coordinator at the center for a short time and worked with the former president to make a plaque that recognized all of the volunteers.
The former first lady died Sunday afternoon. She was 96.