Best friend of Rosalynn Carter shares cherished moments, how she transformed into first lady

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — One of Rosalynn Carter’s closest friends shared cherished memories of her time with Mrs. Carter from her Douglasville home Sunday evening.

Dot Padgett spoke one-on-one with Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco in Douglas on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. on Sunday.

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Padgett was sitting on the front porch, flipping through photos of her time with Mrs. Carter. Hours earlier, she’d just received the call that her best friend died while in hospice care.

“She was so kind to people and genuine, and she’s always been my good friend,” said Padgett. “I love Rosalynn.”

Padgett reflected on the first time she met Mrs. Carter in a campaign meeting.

“When I first met her, I was working with Jimmy when he ran for governor in 1970,” said Padgett.

“I looked at her schedule, I thought, you know, I don’t think they’re using her,” said Padgett. “So, we arranged what we call ‘Meet Rosalynn Carter’ luncheons.”


While the nation watched her transform into the first lady, Padgett said their private conversations centered around kids and grandchildren.

“You know, she had a talent for saying and doing the right thing,” said Padgett.

Padgett said so little time has passed since she learned of her friend’s death, her words don’t express her deep feeling of loss, but she reflected on what she’d tell Mrs. Carter if she could talk to her again.

“Rosalynn, everyone has appreciated the things you have done,” said Padgett.

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