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Joan Mondale dies; former VP’s wife known as arts advocate
It was the same liberal arts school that Walter Mondale attended, but they were a few years apart and didn’t meet until 1955, when one of Joan’s sisters arranged a blind date. Six months later they were engaged, and they married soon after.
She dabbled in Democratic Party politics as a ward chairwoman, though she focused on her family as her husband built his political career, starting with state attorney general. Joan tended to a family that would eventually include sons Ted and William and a daughter, Eleanor, who died in 2011 after a long battle with brain cancer.
When Walter Mondale was tapped to fill the Senate seat vacated by Vice President-elect Hubert Humphrey in 1964, the family headed to Washington.
There, Joan Mondale immersed herself in the capital’s art scene. She gave weekly tours at the National Gallery of Art and took pottery lessons. Even when her husband was campaigning as Carter’s vice president, she tried to keep up with regular ceramics classes.
More recently, she sat on the U.S. Postal Service panel that has a role in selecting stamp designs. She gave up her seat on that committee in 2010.
A service is scheduled for Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.
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