Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, a woman known for her plainspoken manner and her championing of literacy, died Tuesday at the age of 92, it was reported.
Bush was the wife of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who reportedly was at his wife’s side when she died, and the mother of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
She and her husband had been married for 73 years, the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. She was also one of two first ladies in American history who had a child who was elected president, the other one being Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.
Bush was described by her husband as being “the mainstay, of course, the parent who was always there to help solve the daily problems and emergencies of teen and preteen life.”
She was also remembered for being a woman who chose substance over style, making a priority of literacy for young and old alike. She established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, an initiative to enhance early childhood education for preschoolers and adult literacy for their parents.
In later years, she suffered from heart and respiratory disease and was hospitalized numerous times in the past year. On Sunday, it was announced that she had decided to decline any further medical treatment and return to the family home in Houston.
“Barbara Bush challenged each of us to build a better world by empowering people through literacy,” former Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff James Baker III said. “As only one of two women in American history who can be called First Lady and First Mother, she was matriarch of a family that remains as dedicated to public service as it was to politics.”
In addition to her husband and sons George W. and Jeb, Bush is survived by two other sons — Marvin and Neil — and a daughter Doro, along with 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
An invitation-only funeral is planned for Saturday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, which Bush and her husband regularly attended. She will lie in state Friday at the church for members of the public who wish to pay respects.