SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Tonight many across the country and Utah are remembering the former First Lady, Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan passed away at her home from Congestive Heart Failure at the age of 94.
One of those who is remembering the Former First Lady is Ron Fox. Fox knew the Reagan’s long before they made it to the White House, he knew them back in California and recalls one of his first encounters with them.
“On the day that Ronald Reagan became president, me and a good friend, we were both at the Century Plaza Hotel and we ran up to try to get an opportunity to see if we could get as high as we could to the suite to see if we could see Reagan, and we got to the floor below him and we pushed the button, as he was coming down to give his speech on becoming President of the United States. And we pushed that button and the doors opened and the security couldn’t block off the elevator fast enough and there was Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan and Cap Wieinberger, and a lot of them. Reagan just says, ‘come on in, join us,’ and we both said no. But she, was always gracious as well and that was just kind of a fun story,” says Fox.
He says those who knew the Reagan’s say her love for her husband was undeniable and her passion to protect him was everything.
“Sometimes, we would remark that you didn’t need the Secret Service if Nancy was around because Nancy would have always been protecting her husband, and even giving up her life to protect him,” says Fox.
From the love letters they wrote to each other to making sure President Reagan always had his favorite candy – jelly beans – Fox says over the decades, if there was one constant, it was that Mrs. Reagan never left her husband’s side.
“If there’s something I could say about Mrs. Reagan is that she was passionate and in love with her husband every day of his life, and he adored her as much as she adored him.”
Fox says people will remember her for her strong work fighting for the causes she believed in, from breast cancer, to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s – the disease that took her husband – to her ‘Just Say No’ Campaign to combat drugs, she held the title of First Lady with class.
“I think that she was more of First Lady that her initiative was more to support her husband than have her own personal initiatives,” says Fox.
They were inseparable. Ronald the more gentle and Nancy the more protective and hard-lined, Fox says the two complimented each other and now she can rest peacefully next to her husband.
Mrs. Reagan will be laid to rest alongside her husband at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Throughout the day many of Utah’s leaders expressed condolences to the Reagan family.
Congressman Chaffetz saying, ‘Our nation owes much to the strength of Nancy Reagan, we will all miss her. God Bless.’
Congresswoman Mia Love said, ‘My thoughts and prayers are with Nancy Reagan’s family, after hearing of her death today. She was an iconic and incredible First Lady.’
Sen. Mike Lee adds, ‘Nancy Reagan was a wonderful wife, a fierce fighter against breast cancer, & a great First Lady. I send my condolences to the Reagan family.’
Senator Orrin Hatch said of his friend, ‘Nancy Reagan was truly a great American. A devoted wife, she was President Reagan’s rock during the good times and the bad. A passionate advocate, she fought heroically for the causes in which she believed in, from keeping our kids drug-free to finding cures for the disease that took her beloved husband from her. Above all, she was a dear friend, and I will miss her greatly. Elaine and I send our thoughts and prayers to the entire Reagan family at this difficult time.”
Finally, Gov. Herbert said of the former First Lady, ‘Nancy Reagan was a beloved First Lady who served our country with dignity and grace. She will be missed.’