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Office of the Vice President
February 3, 2014

Statement by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden on the Passing of Joan Mondale

Jill and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, former Second Lady Joan Mondale. Joan and Fritz welcomed me to the Senate when I was first elected, offering their friendship and support during a very difficult time in my life. And they were there for the happier times as well, as Joan welcomed Jill to the Senate when we got married.

But while she was a Senate spouse and Second Lady who was deeply involved in her husband’s career, she was also a force of her own. A potter and art patron herself, Joan understood our country’s greatest values could be shared through our rich history of art and culture. She spread those values and that history by speaking with young people, through service on the boards of cultural centers across Minnesota and the country, and during their diplomatic service in Japan, where she helped bring two cultures and countries closer together. When the Mondales were in Tokyo, we had two ambassadors.

The Mondales remained our lifelong friends, from our Senate days to their journey to the White House, as well as our own. When President Obama asked me to join the ticket in 2008, Joan and Fritz reached out right away and gave us valuable guidance. During this last campaign, Jill had the opportunity to visit with Joan in Minnesota. Even though she was ill, she and Jill had the opportunity to share stories from the past and talk of their hope for our future.  That’s what made Joan so special—always taking the time to meet a friend with a deep belief in what makes our country so exceptional. We will always treasure our time with her and will miss her smile, friendship and counsel.

We extend our deepest condolences to Fritz, their sons Ted and William, and the entire Mondale family.


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