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The passing of 2 great women

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Two great women died this week — women who showed the world that being a devoted wife and developing fulfilling personal talents do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Dale Evans, whose love for her famous cowboy husband, Roy Rogers, was an inspiration to many, became a noted song-writer and performer in her own right. She built her fame as a partner with her husband, not as a competitor.

Likewise, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, became an accomplished author and co-pilot to her husband. She brought the couple's adventures into the homes of Americans by publishing detailed accounts of their flights to distant lands. She also helped a nation understand the intense mourning that followed the horrible kidnapping and murder of their son by writing eloquently about her feelings.

Evans died of heart failure at the age of 88. During her life, she, too, wrote books — more than 20 of them, in all — including a best seller about a daughter who had Down syndrome and who died before the age of 2. Her strong Christian faith was a steady influence in all she did. Her list of notable songs includes, "The Bible tells me so," which became a standard of gospel music. Her longtime friend Johnny Grant paid her what, unfortunately, has become a rare compliment among celebrities. He told the Associated Press, "She was one Hollywood personality who truly lived what she preached. She was a strong supporter of family and religion."

Lindbergh died in her Vermont home at the age of 94. She spent much of her life trying to avoid the spotlight that seemed a constant companion to her and her husband. Yet she seemed virtually unafraid of challenging obstacles. She was the first American woman to earn a glider pilot's license, and the first woman to win the Hubbard Gold Medal for distinction in exploration, research and discovery — an award given by the National Geographic Society. As a writer, she didn't shy from tough topics. Not only did she describe her pain at losing a child, she wrote, "The War Within and Without," which discussed a period when her husband was criticized by many as being pro-Nazi.

Both women gave much both to their husbands and to the world. They lived the kind of admirable lives from which much could be learned.