Heartbreaking Photo of George at Barbara Bush's Viewing Proves What Kind of Husband He Really Was

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As people mourn the passing of iconic first lady Barbara Bush, a photo that is circulating of her husband shows how devoted to her he really was.

George H.W. Bush kept his wife company on Friday as he sat by her casket while people came to pay their respects.

The picture shows the 93-year-old sitting in his wheelchair, looking up at his wife’s casket decorated with pink, yellow, and purple flowers. Their daughter, Dorothy, had a gentle hand on her father’s shoulder.

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Barbara and George were the longest-married couple in presidential history; they were married for 73 years.

They met at a Christmas dance when George was an 18-year-old naval aviator in training and Barbara was just 17. In his autobiography, he described the day as a “storybook meeting.”

They were engaged in August 1943 and married on Jan. 6, 1945 after George was shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He carried the name “Barbara” on his Gunman Avenger torpedo bomber.

Barbara said that they were “the two luckiest people in the world, and when all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family and friends. We have been inordinately blessed, and we know that.”

The iconic first lady passed away in her home April 17 at the age of 92 just days after she declined further medical treatment for her long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

George, of course, “is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara,” according to a statement made by his long-time chief of staff Jean Becker.

“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when (she) left this earth.”

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Mourners visited St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas the day before her invitation-only funeral, and many were wearing pearls — Barbara’s signature accessory.

Jeb Bush, friend Susan Baker, and historian Jon Meacham were chosen by Barbara to deliver eulogies at her funeral Saturday.

She will forever be remembered for her wit and devotion to her family, as well as her love story with her husband of 73 years.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith