On Saturday, she was hailed as “the first lady of the greatest generation,” but to those closest to her, Barbara Bush will be remembered as a loving wife, mother and friend.
Bush’s funeral service Saturday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston drew nearly 1,500 guests. They came from across the country to honor the former first lady, a woman who was known for her sense of humor and who represented the best the World War II generation had to offer.
“Barbara Bush was the first lady of ‘the greatest generation,'” presidential historian and family friend Jon Meacham said in a eulogy at the service, according to ABC News. “She was candid and comforting,” he added, while describing Bush as a “point of light” who “kept everything and everyone together.”
Of all those mourning Barbara Bush’s death, perhaps no one has more reason to grieve than her husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush.
And one day before the funeral service, a photo perfectly illustrated the true meaning of the line, “until death due us part.” The photo showed the former president looking at his wife’s casket as it stood on the altar of the church.
The image was tweeted out Sunday morning by Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the February 14 Parkland school shooting, who admired the photo’s “powerful” message.
According to People magazine, the 93-year-old kept close to his late wife’s side, sitting in front of her casket alongside his daughter, Dorothy, as mourners came forward to pay their respects on Friday.
Despite his overwhelming grief, the former president took the time to entertain and personally greet the children who accompanied those paying their respects.
As reported by The Western Journal, the former president also honored his wife of 73 years by wearing socks detailed with books on them to her funeral, a nod to the former first lady’s commitment to literacy.
Barbara Bush spent a large portion of her public life working hard to improve literacy rates in the U.S. through her organization The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
She was laid to rest on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University, where she was buried near her daughter, Pauline Robinson Bush, who was just 3 years old when she died of leukemia in 1953.
Barbara Bush, as well as her children and husband, were members of the church congregation for decades, dating back to the time when it was merely a small-town Episcopal gathering of only 250 people.
The couple’s son, former President George W. Bush, told an audience at his presidential library on Wednesday that his mother was “funny to the end.” He recalled one particular conversation they’d had on the phone before her passing.
“The day before she died, I said ‘Mom, I just want you to know you’ve been a fabulous mother and I love you dearly.’” Bush said. “And she said, ‘I want you to know that you’re my favorite son — on the phone.’”
“I hope you don’t feel sorry for any of us, particularly me,” he added, saying that his mother was at peace, which left him to be at peace. “She believes in an afterlife and was joyously looking forward to that afterlife.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.