May 24, 2022

Inside Pat Robertson’s relationship with Dede as televangelist pays tribute to ‘woman of great faith’ as she dies at 94

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DEDE Robertson, wife of televangelist Pat Robertson, died at the age of 94 at her home in Virginia Beach on Tuesday.

“Dede Robertson was a woman of great faith, a champion of the gospel, and a remarkable servant of Christ who has left an indelible print on all that she set her hand to during her extraordinary life,” Pat Robertson said in a statement to the Christian Broadcasting Network, which the couple co-founded.

Dede and Pat Robertson co-founded the Christian Broadcasting Network

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Dede and Pat Robertson co-founded the Christian Broadcasting NetworkCredit: AP
Pat decided to run for president of the United States in 1988

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Pat decided to run for president of the United States in 1988Credit: AP

The couple met at Yale University in 1952, where Dede was studying to be a nurse while Pat was in law school.

Eighteen months after meeting, the couple eloped because neither of their families approved of the marriage.

Pat and Dede became born-again Christians and moved to a roach-infested commune in Brooklyn, New York, because Pat said that God had told him to sell all his possessions and preach to the poor.

Dede told The Associated Press that she had been tempted to return to her family’s home in Ohio after moving to New York, “but I realized that was not what the Lord would have me do … I had promised to stay, so I did.”

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Pat bought a small TV station in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1960 after he “heard God” tell him to do so.

The small station went on to become a global religious broadcasting network called the Christian Broadcasting Network.

With Pat and Dede as co-founders, the network’s flagship program, called the 700 Club, ran for half a century before Pat stepped down in the fall of 2021.

CBN gained nationwide attention, especially with its puppet show that brought Jim and Tammy Bakker into the televangelism spotlight.

During the success of the 700 Club, Pat decided to run for president of the United States in 1988, with Dede by his side during the campaign.

Though Dede was a loyal and supportive wife, she wrote in her 1984 autobiography that she sometimes got fed up with Pat’s lack of work around the house.

“I was a Northerner, and Northern men just generally help around the house a little more. I noticed the further south we moved, the less he did.”

Her attitude changed after she had her own born-again experience at a church service later on: “I began to see how important what he was doing really was.”

Dede said that she believed that women should not work outside of the home while their children are young. She raised her kids as a stay-at-home mom before working as a nursing professor when they went off to school.

“Mom was the glue that held the Robertson family together,” Dede’s son, Gordon Robertson, said in an emotional tribute on the network.

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“She was always working behind the scenes. If it weren’t for Mom, there wouldn’t be a CBN.”

Dede is survived by her husband Pat, her four children, 14 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Dede leaves behind her husband Pat, her four children, and 14 grandchildren

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Dede leaves behind her husband Pat, her four children, and 14 grandchildrenCredit: YouTube/CBN

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