Friends and Family Lead Tributes After McCain Matriarch Roberta's Death: She 'Loved a Good Party'
"There will never be another one like you, you will be missed every day," Meghan McCain said of her grandmother
Friends and family and even the TV journalists who long covered her all offered remembrances on Monday of the 108-year-old McCain family matriarch Roberta McCain, who died at home in Washington, D.C., earlier that day.
Journalist Greta Van Susteren — who considers late Sen. John McCain's mother to be her best friend — was among the first to express her condolences and share her fond memories of the feisty Oklahoma native.
She tweeted that Roberta was a "great friend" who "loved a good party."
"There wasn't a place in the world she hadn't been. She loved adventure, and she told me that she knew Amelia Earhart ... when you are that elderly, you get to know a lot of people," Van Susteren told PEOPLE. "And every place I ever went, she'd been."
"Every time I saw her she would say, 'Where are you going?' and when I told her, she'd say, 'Take me,' " Van Susteren said.
According to Van Susteren, Roberta's health began to deteriorate in recent days.
"She died peacefully [and] her son Joe was with her," Van Susteren said.
Van Susteren last saw Roberta just a few weeks ago, she said, though the pandemic kept them apart. "I saw her outside, from 20 feet away, and she was in a wheelchair," Van Susteren said. "I said 'I love you' and I threw her a kiss because I couldn't get near her because of COVID. This changed everything."
Roberta's daughter-in-law Cindy McCain was the first to publicly announce the news of her death, writing on Twitter Monday: "I couldn’t have asked for a better role model or a better friend."
In a separate statement, Cindy expanded on Roberta's life and legacy.
"Roberta was the liveliest presence in every room she graced, an irresistible force of nature. Her life spanned more than a century," her statement reads. "She was her husband’s closest confidant, and with her lifelong passion for travel and learning that never wearied, she was more than a witness to great events, she was an active participant in and shrewd observer of some of the seminal moments of the last century."
Roberta's granddaughter Meghan McCain tweeted that she was "everything I ever aspired to be" and lived a life of "grit, conviction, intensity and love."
"There will never be another one like you, you will be missed every day," The View co-host continued in her tribute on Twitter. "I wish my daughter had gotten to meet you."
Others who reacted to news of Roberta's death included CNN's Jake Tapper, who tweeted that the last time he saw Roberta — who found her biggest audience while supporting her son's 2008 presidential campaign — she was walking through the Capitol alongside John, "joking about how much younger she looked than he did."
Other journalists, including Katie Couric and Luke Russert, shared past interviews they had conducted with the Arizona senator and his mother.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse also expressed their condolences.
An energetic figure well into her 90s, Roberta appeared with her son on the campaign trail and, some 12 years later, was there to see him memorialized after his death from brain cancer.
She will be laid to rest alongside her husband at Arlington National Cemetery, according to Van Susteren.