John McCain's 106-year-old mother Roberta will not miss his memorial, burial services
John McCain's 106-year-old mother is expected to attend his memorial and burial services in Washington and Maryland this week
John McCain's memorial and burial services are to be held in Washington and Maryland this week, and his 106-year-old mother Roberta (Wright) McCain will not miss the ceremonies by any means.
Endearing called by his mother as "Johnny", the Republican congressman, senator, Vietnam POW, and two-time presidential candidate succumbed to terminal brain cancer on Saturday, at the ripe age of 81. McCain described Roberta, in one of his books, as "a strong, determined woman who thoroughly enjoyed life, and always tried to make the most of her opportunities. She was encouraged to accept, graciously and with good humor, the responsibilities and sacrifices her choices have required of her," he continued. "I am grateful to her for the strengths she taught me by example."
SOUND ON - The Navy Hymn is already echoing through the @WNCathedral in preparation for @SenJohnMcCain’s funeral. Among the 2,500 guests invited Saturday, McCain’s 106-year-old mother along with Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/YVloP49eWz— Pete Muntean (@petemuntean) August 30, 2018
Roberta once said McCain liked to hold her up as an example of "what he hopes his lifespan will be." Although she has now outlived her son, he definitely inherited her sass, wit, and "rebellious streak", reported Fox News. Sen. McCain once recounted a story when he answered the telephone to learn that his mother was on a cross-country driving trip by herself — in her 90s!
In 'The Restless Wave', the late senator's final book published this year, he wrote that his mother's "vivaciousness is a force of nature," and although she suffered a stroke that has since slowed her pace and made speaking difficult, she still has "a spark in her, a brightness in her eyes that would light up the world if she could resume her peripatetic life."
In a conversation with People magazine, a close family friend said, "Roberta is 106, but she's spunky."
McCain had tweeted a video tribute to celebrate his mother's birthday in February this year. "Happy 106th birthday to my wonderful mother Roberta – we love you mom!” Cindy McCain, Roberta's daughter-in-law, also called her a "true inspiration", while granddaughter Meghan McCain posted a tweet honoring her "incredible Nana McCain."
Happy 106th birthday to my wonderful mother Roberta - we love you mom! pic.twitter.com/HpZntLXHPZ— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 7, 2018
During Sen. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, Robert supported her son quite enthusiastically. “Johnny is going to be the president of the United States and he’s going to keep the traditions … and the standards high,” she told a crowd once, who burst into applause.
Hailing from Muskogee, Okla, Roberta Wright was a 21-year-old college student in Southern California when she eloped with a young sailor named John S. McCain Jr. to Tijuana, Mexico, in January 1933. Within a decade, the sailor would go on to become a Navy admiral, like his father with whom he shared his name, and have three children with Roberta - Jean, John, and Joseph.
As her husband would be out to sea or tending to Navy business most of the time, Roberta almost single-handedly raised the kids and never complained about it. In fact, she loved the Navy life. When Sen. McCain was born in 1936, the family was living in Hawaii and the Panama Canal Zone, among other places in between.