Locals Remember Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
The former first lady Rosalynn Carter died at 96 on Sunday afternoon. She was an advocate for people with mental health, a humanitarian and the wife of former President Jimmy Carter.
Barbra Nitkiewicz's first encounter with Carter's happened at a Democratic National Convention. Nitkiewicz has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. The hotel didn't have accessible rooms available for her.
"I didn't have any real support behind me, and all of a sudden, this team of people came up and said, 'we're with the Carter family and we won't let this happen to the disabled and we're going to make room for her on the VIP floor in the hotel,'" Nitkiewicz said.
Days before Rosalynn Carter passed, Nitkiewicz found an old magazine cover with the Carter family on it.
"I found it by accident and I just can't put it away. The family will always be in my prayers," Nitkiewicz said.
Nitkiewicz remembers Rosalynn Carter's caring attitude toward all people.
"And I saw how she reached out to all the different types of people, and she gave everybody love," Nitkiewicz said.
Steve Scully interviewed the Carter's and remembers how Rosalynn visited Erie and the barber center.
"Erie really had a significant influence in Rosalynn Carter's life and career because mental health was her passion, and she proved time and time again that she was going to help so many people in so many different ways," Scully said.
Scully said Jimmy and Rosalynn accomplished a multitude together and with the goal in mind to help others.
"They were unselfish. They were just a role model in public service, never looking to to make money off of their time in the White House or their time as governor. They just really reflected what public service is all about," Scully said.