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Dede Robertson, the wife of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and a founding member of the board of directors of the Christian Broadcasting Network, died Tuesday at her home in Virginia Beach, the network said in a statement.
Robertson was 94 years old. The statement did not provide her cause of death.
Robertson became a born-again Christian several months after her husband found her faith. The couple, who met at Yale University in 1952, embarked on a journey that included living in a cockroach-infested commune in New York before Pat Robertson bought a small television station in Virginia that would become Christian Broadcasting. Network.
He later ran for President of the United States in 1988, with his wife campaigning alongside him.
“Mom was the glue that held the Robertson family together,” said Gordon Robertson, one of her four children and the president and CEO of CBN. “She was always working behind the scenes. If she wasn’t for mom, there would be no CBN.”
Adelia “Dede” Elmer was born in Columbus, Ohio, to middle-class Catholic Republicans. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State and a master’s degree in nursing from Yale.
Robertson’s future husband was the son of a Democratic United States Senator, a Southern Baptist. Eighteen months after they met, they ran off to be married off by a justice of the peace, knowing no family would approve.
Robertson’s husband was interested in politics until he found religion, she told The Associated Press in 1987. He stunned her by serving them the liquor, ripping a nude photo off the wall and declaring that he had found the Mr.
They moved to the Bedford-Stuyvesant commune because Robertson said God had told him to sell all of her possessions and help the poor. Robertson told The AP that she was tempted to go back to Ohio, “but I realized that’s not what the Lord would have me do … I had promised to stay, so I did.”
Later, Pat Robertson heard God tell him to buy the small television station in Portsmouth, Virginia, that would become a worldwide religious broadcast network. He ran the network’s flagship show, “Club 700,” for half a century before resigning last fall.
In her autobiography, Robertson recalled staying home and her husband’s refusal to help around the house.
“I was a northerner, and northerners generally help out around the house a little more,” she said. “I realized that the further south we moved, the less I did.”
Her attitude changed after she had her own experience of being born again at a church service, she told The AP. “I began to see how important what I was doing really was.”
Robertson said women shouldn’t work outside the home while their children are young unless they have to. She raised her children and worked as a nursing teacher after they went to school.
She had represented the United States on the Inter-American Commission of Women, which was established to ensure recognition of women’s human rights. She also served on the board of Regent University, which was founded by her husband.
Pat Robertson said in a statement that her wife “she was a woman of great faith, a champion of the gospel and an outstanding servant of Christ who has left an indelible mark on everything she made of her during her extraordinary life.” ”.