An influential figure in both the military and political realms has passed away at the age of 108.
Roberta McCain, mother of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), died this week, as confirmed by daughter-in-law Cindy McCain on Monday.
“Willful, rebellious girl”
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my wonderful Mother In-Law, Roberta McCain,” tweeted the 2008 GOP presidential nominee’s widow.
She went on to say she “couldn’t have asked for a better role model or a better friend” and concluded that the centenarian “joins her husband, Jack, her son John and daughter Sandy.”
John McCain frequently cited his mother as a source of strength and inspiration, specifically during his years as a prisoner of war.
Once describing his mother as a “willful, rebellious girl,” the late senator frequently referenced her as a sustaining force during tumultuous times of his life.
He wrote that his mother “was raised to be a strong, determined woman who thoroughly enjoyed life, and always tried to make the most of her opportunities.”
“Grit, conviction, intensity and love”
Roberta McCain did not serve in the military, but her connection to the U.S. Navy is undeniable. She was married to Admiral John S. McCain, who served as the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. John McCain also served in the Navy and was shot down over Hanoi during the same war, going on to spend more than five years as a POW.
“From both my parents, I learned to persevere,” John McCain wrote in his memoirs. “But my mother’s extraordinary resilience made her the stronger of the two. I acquired some of her resilience and her felicity, and that inheritance made an enormous difference in my life.”
Despite her role in his political life, he made it clear that he and his mother continued to “have spirited discussions about politics and coverage.”
Roberta McCain’s granddaughter, The View co-host Meghan McCain, tweeted her own tribute, thanking her for “teaching us all about living life on your own terms with grit, conviction, intensity and love.”
The mom of a two-week-old baby girl concluded: “I wish my daughter had gotten to meet you.”