DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s been an outpouring of thoughts and prayers in North Texas for former first lady Barbara Bush after news Sunday that her health is declining.
People showed up at the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas to show their support and to reflect on the former first lady’s legacy.
Seven high school friends who showed up to the Bush Center were surprised to hear about Mrs. Bush’s failing health.
“She was someone you could respect, and she respected others,” said Jean Gough.
A Bush family spokesperson said Sunday that Barbara Bush is in failing health and that she won’t seek additional medical treatment.
Susan Scheck, who lives in Houston, said it’s not uncommon to see Mrs. Bush and her husband, George H.W. Bush, around town.
“They came to all kinds of events — baseball games and football games. Made appearances in schools,” said Scheck.
In the years since the White House, she has found ways to help improve literacy in America. For more than two decades, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has been handing out grants to community literacy programs.
The seven high school friends snapped pictures inside the Bush Presidential Library and admired the elegant former first lady.
“I think the library said it well. There’s an exhibit on first ladies, and the title was ‘Everybody’s Grandma.’ I think everybody just kind of looked at her like she was everybody’s grandma,” said Scheck.
The family spokesperson said Mrs. Bush’s focus is now “comfort care.”
“Maybe she values the quality times left to her, to be with her family. And I respect that,” said Robert Kerr.
Kerr said her lasting impression and legacy impacted many lives and will continue to live on.
“I think the world of Barbara Bush. I really do. Taught her kids well. They’re men of honor. And that came from mama,” said Kerr.
There has also been a flood of support for Barbara Bush on social media from many political figures.
Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson tweeted: “Thoughts with one of America’s most loved women, former first lady Barbara Bush. Her health has been deteriorating and I join thousands in hoping she is comfortable and knows how loved she is throughout the world.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement Sunday afternoon: “Barbara Bush has a character that is as big, inspiring and iconic as Texas. Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for Barbara and the entire Bush family during this time.”
The family spokesperson also said Mrs. Bush is surrounded by family and appreciates all the kind messages and prayers.