MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 3, 2014) — Joan Mondale, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, passed away Monday evening at the age of 83.
“Joan Mondale was an incredible woman and Minnesota was blessed to have her leadership,” said U.S. Rep. Bety McCollum (MN-4). “Her advocacy for the arts was remarkable and she was one of our country’s most impassioned champions of culture. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and all those she inspired as she inspired me.”
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent condolences to former Vice President Walter Mondale and his family on the passing of Joan Adams Mondale.
“America first came to know Joan through her husband; she was his devoted partner in public service, from Minnesota to Washington. A lifelong patron of the arts, Joan filled the Vice Presidential mansion with works by dozens of artists, including many unknowns, and later did the same at the U.S. embassy in Japan during her husband’s tenure as ambassador. Through her contributions to the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Kennedy Center, she passionately advocated for the role of art in the life of our nation and the promotion of understanding worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with Vice President Mondale and his family today as we remember with gratitude “Joan of Art” and her service to our nation.”
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said that in an era when most political wives remained in the background, Joan Mondale stood right by her husband’s side. Together, she and Vice President Mondale forged a path, which took them from the State Capitol, where he served as Attorney General; to the United States Capitol, where he was a U.S. Senator; to the White House, as Vice President; and to Tokyo, as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.
“During those years, Joan Mondale made her own mark on life in our state and our country. An accomplished potter, she was a champion for the arts, both in Minnesota and in Washington. In 1972, she wrote a book ‘Politics in Art’, which examined how political commentary is reflected in art.
“As Second Lady, she made the Vice President’s home into a showcase of American art. She also served as chairperson of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. Back home, she served on the Boards of the Walker Art Center, Macalester College, and the National Portrait Gallery.
“She also found time to raise three children, who became very accomplished adults. I extend my deepest condolences to the Vice President and her sons for their loss.”
Minnesota State Rep. Tom and Jacquie Emmer issued statement that emphasized the importance of family support, and the love of a spouse as something every elected official cherishes.
“Joan’s advocacy for the arts in our community made her a treasure to so many, and her service to Minnesota is something we should all strive to emulate. We’re keeping everyone who knew Joan in our thoughts and prayers.”