Obamas pay tribute to Nancy Reagan as 'proud example'

US President Barack Obama (C) signs the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act at the White House on June 2, 2009 with former US first lady Nancy Reagan (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)
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Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle praised former first lady Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday at age 94, as a "proud example."

The Obamas said Reagan transformed the role of first lady during her 1981-1989 White House tenure, and later became an advocate for millions suffering from Alzheimer's disease like her husband, president Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004.

Extending condolences to her children and grandchildren, they said "we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan's life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again."

The Obamas said they were "fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice."

"Our former first lady redefined the role in her time here.

"Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives," they said in a statement.

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