Dignitaries, family bid farewell to Joan Mondale

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2009 file photo, Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President and former Minnesota Sen. Walter Mondale, arrives at the Target Center in Minneapolis for President Barack Obama's health care address. Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. She was 83. (AP Photo/David Sherman, File)

February 8, 2014 11:18:59 AM PST
Political dignitaries are at the memorial service for Joan Mondale, the wife of a former vice president who wasn't shy about stepping out on her own.

Vice President Joe Biden, former President Jimmy Carter and their spouses were at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday to pay tribute to Mondale, who died Monday at age 83 after an extended illness. Leading Minnesota officials and Japan's consul general were also at the service, which began about 12:30 p.m.

Mondale leveraged the political prominence of her husband, Walter Mondale, to focus national attention on arts and culture. He was vice president in the 1970s, a Democratic nominee for president in the 1980s and an ambassador to Japan in the 1990s.

Joan Mondale is survived by her husband and two sons, William and Ted.