WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- The children of Nancy Reagan -- Ron Reagan and Patti Davis -- on Monday paid tribute to their mother one day after the former first lady's death.
Nancy Reagan died Sunday morning at the age of 94 due to congestive heart failure. Davis said she received a call that her "mother had died peacefully in her sleep."
"My mother had been in poor health for quite a while, and recently had gotten markedly worse, so this wasn't a surprise," Davis wrote in a blog post published on Monday. "That said, death always feels like a surprise. I appreciate the attention and prayers of people I will probably never meet. Just as when my father died, there is comfort in feeling surrounded by gentle thoughts and kind wishes, often sent out by strangers."
Ron Reagan also spoke kindly of his mother during an phone interview with Today.
"She loved her husband more than anything in the world, and I think you can make the case that the Ronald Reagan that we all came to know as president would not have existed without Nancy Reagan,'' he said. "Once they had bonded together, they really were inseparable ... I mean, it sounds cliche, but I don't think that they ever spent a day apart where they didn't call [or] speak on the phone. He wrote her letters all her life, all his life.They were in love."
Nancy and former President Ronald Reagan were married for 52 years before Ronald Reagan's death in 2004 after battling Alzheimer's disease. Ron told interviewer Matt Lauer that his mother became particularly protective of the former president after he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1981.
"I don't think that she ever had another day during his presidency where there wasn't some fear involved, and particularly, of course, when he went out in public at all,'' Ron said.
President Barack Obama also paid tribute to Nancy while in the White House's Roosevelt Room on Monday.
"I think it's been well documented the extraordinary love that she had for her husband, and the extraordinary comfort and strength she provided him during really hard times," Obama said. "As somebody who is lucky enough to have an extraordinary partner in my life as well, I know how much she meant not just to President Reagan but to the country as a whole. He was lucky to have her ... She will be missed."