Updated: 02/03/2014 6:38 PM
Created: 02/03/2014 5:12 PM WDIO.com
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Joan Mondale, who built a reputation as a national cultural arts advocate while her husband was vice president, has died.
Her family issued a statement through their church saying she died Monday afternoon with family by her side.
Mondale was so passionate about the arts that she was nicknamed "Joan of Art." She herself was an avid potter when her husband Walter, then a Democratic U.S. senator from Minnesota, was elected Jimmy Carter's vice president in 1976.
Carter named Joan Mondale honorary chairwoman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. She traveled frequently to museums, theaters and artists' studios on the administration's behalf, and lobbied Congress and the states for more spending on public arts programs.
In a statement, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said "Joan Mondale made her own mark on life in our state and our country...I extend my deepest condolences to the Vice President and her sons for their loss.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, said "I join all Americans in mourning a great woman, Joan Mondale. Joan truly was a Minnesota treasure. She was tireless in her support of the arts both nationally and internationally and brought joy to all who knew her."
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, described Joan as a wonderful woman. He said “I am so glad that I had the honor to call her my friend. She knew that the arts nurture our hearts, our minds, and our souls...we are going to miss her terribly.”
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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