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Louisville couple recalls helping Jimmy Carter build homes in Pike County

Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter (third and second from left) spent a week in Pike in 1997 building homes for others.
Joe Vicars
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WEKU
Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter (third and second from right) spent a week in Pike in 1997 building homes for others.

With former President Jimmy Carter at home in hospice care, many of the people he touched over his 98 years are remembering his service to others. In 1997, Judy Vicars and her husband Joe spent a week in Pike County, helping Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and others build homes for a week-long Habitat For Humanity project. Judy said the former president was all about the work.

“Our main job was to get the houses built. He said that, if people are coming up to talk to me and ask for autographs and things, that means two people aren't working. He said, ‘I don't want to do that. We're here to work.’”

Joe Vicars is a native of Pikeville. He said Carter will leave behind a legacy of service – and more.

“It's meaningful to me that that of all the people I've ever met, I, I have no doubt whatsoever that where he's gonna go after he passes. And I think we both believe that he will look back on us here on Earth to guide us.”

More than 25 years after Joe and Judy Vicars helped the Carters build homes for others, Judy says it was if they brought a blanket of grace to Pike County that week.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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