John McCain’s 106-year-old mother, Roberta McCain, plans to attend his memorial service in Washington on Saturday and his burial at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
Roberta McCain, who always called her son “Johnny,” lives in the nation’s capital.
A memorial service will be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be a private funeral service at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. McCain, a decorated Navy pilot, graduated from the academy and will be buried near his best friend from the college.
McCain died last Saturday at age 81 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. The late senator often described his mother – an admirals’s wife – as one of the biggest influences on his life.
“(She) was raised to be a strong, determined woman who thoroughly enjoyed life, and always tried to make the most of her opportunities,” McCain wrote of his mother. “She was encouraged to accept, graciously and with good humor, the responsibilities and sacrifices her choices have required of her. I am grateful to her for the strengths she taught me by example.”
Visiting with my dear and beloved mother Roberta today, her 102nd birthday! pic.twitter.com/rf4WJqfHeI
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 7, 2014
Roberta McCain often traveled with her son on the campaign trail during his 2008 presidential bid. She was in her mid-90s at the time.
When McCain’s plane was shot down during the Vietnam War, his mother was initially told that her son had likely died in the crash. She later found out that McCain was being held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, which she described in interviews as “good news” given the alternative.
According to a story in the Arizona Republic, Roberta McCain was as strong-willed as her son. When she was told in Paris in 2006 that she was too old to rent a car because she was in her 90s, she simply bought one instead.