Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies

Free Press wire reports | 4/19/2018, 11:44 p.m.
A private funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush, the only American woman to see her husband and son both ...


A private funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush, the only American woman to see her husband and son both sworn in as president, will be held on Saturday, April 21, at a Houston church where her family has been members since the 1950s, officials said.

Mrs. Bush, the wife of the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, and mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, died on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the age of 92.

After the funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Mrs. Bush will be buried Saturday on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, about 100 miles away, the university said.

She will be buried beside her daughter, Robin, who died at age 3 after battling leukemia, the university said in a statement late on Tuesday.

First Lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral, her office said on Wednesday. The White House has not said whether President Trump will attend.

On Friday, Mrs. Bush will lay in repose at St. Martin’s, which will be open to members of the public wishing to pay their respects, the Houston church said on its website.

Flags flew at half-staff at the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Mrs. Bush’s honor, as tributes poured in from former presidents, officials and others around the nation and the globe.

Former President Barack Obama and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, issued a statement Tuesday evening remembering Mrs. Bush:

“Barbara Bush was the rock of a family dedicated to public service, and our thoughts and prayers are with both Presidents Bush and the entire Bush family tonight.

“We’ll always be grateful to Mrs. Bush for the generosity she showed to us throughout our time in the White House, but we’re even more grateful for the way she lived her life — as a testament to the fact that public service is an important and noble calling; as an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.

“She’ll be remembered for passing those American values on to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren — and to the countless citizens whom she and George inspired to become ‘points of light’ in service to others.”

The Rev. Russ Levinson, senior pastor at St. Martin’s, told the local Fox affiliate in Houston that the church had about 250 members when the Bushes began attending services there and would often serve coffee on Sunday mornings.

“Both of them taught in our Sunday school program. Both of them have been involved in our outreach ministries,” he said.

The church has grown to about 9,300 members to become the largest Episcopal church in North America, according to its website.

The Bush family had said in a statement last Sunday that Mrs. Bush was in failing health and would not seek further medical treatment.

According to some media reports, Mrs. Bush had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart problems in recent years.

The only other woman to be both wife and mother of U.S. presidents was Abigail Adams, the first lady from 1797 to 1801. She was a major influence on husband John Adams, the nation’s second president, but died before son John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824.