The wife of televangelist Pat Robertson, who with her husband was involved in the leadership of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University, has died at the age of 94.
Adelia “Dede” Robertson, who married Pat Robertson in 1954, died at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Tuesday, according to an obituary posted by Regent University in Virginia.
In addition to her husband of nearly 70 years, Dede is survived by four children — Timothy Robertson, Elizabeth Robinson, Gordon Robertson and Ann LeBlanc — 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
“My mom was a rock,” said Ann LeBlanc in a statement. “She was a rock throughout our childhood. Dad had to travel a lot, but Mom was always there for us kids. … That gives great security to children.”
Gordon Robertson, who recently took over lead anchor duties for the long-running CBN program “The 700 Club,” said his mother was essential for both the Robertson family and their parachurch efforts.
“Mom was the glue that held the Robertson family together. She was always working behind the scenes. If it weren’t for Mom, there wouldn’t be a CBN,” Gordon Robertson said.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1927, Dede Elmer attended Ohio State University and Yale University School of Nursing, where she received a master of nursing and met her future husband, Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson.
While not a notable on-screen figure like her husband, Dede Robertson was a board member for CBN, Regent University and Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation.
A prominent Christian media organization, CBN has studios that operate in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem, with broadcasts that reportedly reach people in over 170 countries and territories.
In 1982, she was appointed the principal U.S. delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women, working to elevate the status of women in Latin America. According to her obituary, Dede Robertson was selected Christian Woman of the Year in 1986.
Dede Robertson also actively campaigned for her husband during his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, visiting over 52 cities from 1987 to 1988.
Dede’s passing comes months after her husband stepped down as the host of “The 700 Club” after leading the conservative Christian program for 60 years.
Last October, Pat Robertson announced he would no longer be the show's regular host, handing that responsibility over to his son Gordon Robertson, who served as co-anchor for more than 20 years.
During his time hosting the series, Robertson interviewed many prominent faith and political leaders. He also garnered controversy at times for some things he and or his guests had said.