Another former president won’t be coming to Billy Graham’s funeral

Another former president won’t be coming to Billy Graham’s funeral
Billy Graham shakes hands with Jimmy Carter as George H.W. Bush looks on at The Billy Graham Library in 2007. (Observer file photo)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Jim Morrill/The Charlotte Observer) - Former President Jimmy Carter, who came to Charlotte a decade ago for the opening of the Billy Graham Library, will not be returning this week for Graham's funeral or viewing.

In an email, a spokesman said Carter "regrets that he cannot attend."

Graham died last week at 99.

Though no reason was given, Roslynn Carter, 90, underwent surgery earlier this month to remove scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine. Jimmy Carter, 93, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was "deathly afraid" during his wife's operation.

Carter's decision means that President Donald Trump will be the only president at Graham's funeral Friday at the library.

Former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to pay his respects on Tuesday. Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura came Monday. He said his father, George H.W. Bush, 93, was unable to visit for health reasons.

Former President Barack Obama's office said he does not plan to attend the funeral.

After Graham's death, Carter released a statement about Graham.

"Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide," Carter said. "Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.

"He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life, and I was pleased to count Reverend Graham among my advisors and friends."