Nancy Reagan passes


Chase Ballas

On Mar. 6, former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94, due to congestive heart failure.

As a former actress, she met fellow actor Ronald Reagan in the 1950’s, and remained married from 1952, until his death in 2004.

As the First Family, they reimagined American conservatism, and Nancy redefined the role of the First Lady, from her grace, charitable work and campaigns.  She had a prominent, sometimes controversial, role in her husband’s political campaigns, from protecting his image during the Iran-Contra affairs, to influencing his cabinet appointments.  While living in the White House, she renovated the mansion, which was in a state of despair, with a high sense of fashion and glamour, paralleled with her trademark gowns.

She spent her time visiting with veterans, the elderly and the emotionally and physically handicapped.  Most iconic, she championed for drug prevention under her “Just Say No” campaign, with was aimed at the youth.  She also used her personal struggles to influence policy, including her battle with breast cancer, and subsequent mastectomy, to promote mammograms for women; supporting stricter gun control after her husband’s attempted assassination; and supporting stem cell research influenced by her husband’s fight with Alzheimer’s disease.

Nancy will be buried next to Ronald in California, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  There will be an opportunity for the public to pay respect prior to the service.  Nancy has requested prior to make donations to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation, instead of flowers.