In a statement released Tuesday, Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recalled the former second lady's dedication to serving the country, her family, and her lifelong role as a champion of the arts.
"Hillary and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Joan Mondale," Clinton said. "Joan was as wise and graceful in her role as our nation's Second Lady as she was unwavering in her support of art and artists."
"From the state of Minnesota, to Washington DC, to our embassy in Japan, Joan was a singular American who happily devoted her life to her family, her considerable skills to public service, and her great charm to all who had the good fortune to know her," he continued. "We were honored by our friendship with Joan and Fritz for more than 35 years, and our hearts and prayers go out to him, and to Ted, William, and their entire family."
"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to former Vice President Walter Mondale and his family on the passing of Joan Adams Mondale," he said. "America first came to know Joan through her husband; she was his devoted partner in public service, from Minnesota to Washington."
"A lifelong patron of the arts, Joan filled the Vice Presidential mansion with works by dozens of artists, including many unknowns, and later did the same at the U.S. embassy in Japan during her husband’s tenure as ambassador," he said. "Through her contributions to the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Kennedy Center, she passionately advocated for the role of art in the life of our nation and the promotion of understanding worldwide. Our thoughts and prayers are with Vice President Mondale and his family today as we remember with gratitude 'Joan of Art' and her service to our nation."
And Vice President Joe Biden, who got to know the Mondales when both men were senators from 1973 to 1976, offered his own remembrances.
"Jill and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, former Second Lady Joan Mondale," Biden said, in a statement also released by the White House. "Joan and Fritz welcomed me to the Senate when I was first elected, offering their friendship and support during a very difficult time in my life. And they were there for the happier times as well, as Joan welcomed Jill to the Senate when we got married."
"But while she was a Senate spouse and Second Lady who was deeply involved in her husband’s career, she was also a force of her own," he continued. "A potter and art patron herself, Joan understood our country’s greatest values could be shared through our rich history of art and culture. She spread those values and that history by speaking with young people, through service on the boards of cultural centers across Minnesota and the country, and during their diplomatic service in Japan, where she helped bring two cultures and countries closer together. When the Mondales were in Tokyo, we had two ambassadors."
"The Mondales remained our lifelong friends, from our Senate days to their journey to the White House, as well as our own. When President Obama asked me to join the ticket in 2008, Joan and Fritz reached out right away and gave us valuable guidance. During this last campaign, Jill had the opportunity to visit with Joan in Minnesota. Even though she was ill, she and Jill had the opportunity to share stories from the past and talk of their hope for our future. That’s what made Joan so special -- always taking the time to meet a friend with a deep belief in what makes our country so exceptional. We will always treasure our time with her and will miss her smile, friendship and counsel."
"We extend our deepest condolences to Fritz, their sons Ted and William, and the entire Mondale family."
Mondale died on February 3 at the age of 83.
[Clinton Foundation] [White House statement from the President] [White House statement from the Vice President]