Joan Mondale, 83, enters hospice care


The wife of former Vice-President Walter Mondale has entered hospice care and her family is preparing for the end of Joan Mondale's life, according to a statement issued on behalf of the family.

The Associated Press reports the statement by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis says the family asks for privacy as Joan's "life on this earth moves peacefully to its close."

According to a Minnesota Historical Society biographical entry, Joan Mondale was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1930. Her father was a minister and the family moved to St. Paul when he became chaplain at Macalaster College. Joan Adams graduated from Macalaster in 1952. The MHS biography says her sister set her up on a blind date with Walter Mondale in 1955 and the couple married on Dec. 27 of that year.

Joan Mondale was active in Minneapolis' DFL party while her husband served as Minnesota's Attorney General. But in 1964 the couple and their three children moved to Washington, D.C., when Walter was appointed to fill the remainder of Hubert Humphrey's U.S. Senate term after Humphrey became Vice-President.

Joan Mondale maintained a passion for art, giving tours of the National Gallery of Art and taking pottery lessons from a master potter. After Walter Mondale was elected Vice-President, Joan used their official residence to showcase the work of American craft artists.

President Jimmy Carter named Joan Mondale to chair the Council on the Arts and Humanities and she acquired the nickname Joan of Art.

In 2008 the group Americans for the Arts presented Mondale with their Public Art Network Award.

In 2010 Walter Mondale told Minnesota Public Radio that Joan is his rock and credited her with influencing his ideas throughout his political career.

In 2011 daughter Eleanor Mondale Poling died of brain cancer at age 51.

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