LOS ANGELES (AP) — The son of Nancy and Ronald Reagan says he was inspired by his parents’ unfailing devotion to each other during their half-century marriage.
“I don’t think they ever spent a day apart where they didn’t call, speak on the phone,” Ron Prescott Reagan told NBC’s “Today” show Monday. “He wrote her letters all her life, all his life. They were in love, and they stayed in love for 52 some-odd years.”
The former first lady died Sunday in California at 94.
She never quite got over the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, Ron Reagan said.
“I don’t think that she ever had another day during his presidency where there wasn’t some sort of fear involved and particularly, of course, when he went out in public,” he said.
Ron Reagan’s older sister, Patti Davis, said her mother died peacefully in her sleep — just “how she wanted to go.”
In a statement on her website, Davis thanked mourners for the outpouring of support she has received on social media.
“Just as when my father died, there is comfort in feeling surrounded by gentle thoughts and kind wishes, often sent out by strangers,” Davis wrote. “And just as when my father died, we will honor my mother publicly — stand on the public stage and share as much as we can.”
Davis took her mother’s maiden name in order to pursue an independent career as an author and actress. She wrote a tell-all autobiography that spilled family secrets and was estranged from her mother for years, until her father’s death in 2004.
Ron Prescott Reagan famously championed liberal causes, despite his father’s conservatism. He is a political commentator on MSNBC.
Nancy Reagan’s funeral is scheduled for Friday. She will be buried alongside the former president on the grounds of the Reagan Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.
Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Ronald Reagan and first wife Jane Wyman, tweeted Sunday that his stepmother “is once again with the man she loved.”