(CBSDFW.COM) – Former First Lady of the United States Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
Family spokesperson Jim McGrath released a statement confirming her death Tuesday evening.
McGrath said Sunday she was in failing health and decided not to seek additional medical treatment.
Her legacy spanned decades of community work, including her passion for the importance of being able to read.
She and her husband, former president George H.W. Bush, often read to schoolchildren, and she later developed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Their son George W. Bush released the following statement about her passing:
“My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”
Even after leaving the White House, Barbara Bush never stopped pursuing her goal.
In 1997, as she often did, she came to North Texas to headline a literacy event.
“We could only do it as partners. We could only do it if business does more than pay lip service to the need for a literate work force. And if the government makes literacy a long-term priority,” she said.
Perhaps her most famous literacy work was “Millie’s Book,” which as about their beloved family pet.
The English springer spaniel was often seen following the Bushes around the White House when they were in office.
Mrs. Bush had become quite used to politics. She helped her husband run for Congress, vice president and, ultimately, president.
During her husband’s re-election bid, she campaigned in Fort Worth back in September 1992.
“My life is easy. The president has to make the hard decisions. He’s the one who has to decide what gets cut and what doesn’t get cut,” she said.
After a tough loss, Mrs. Bush welcomed her successor, Hillary Clinton, to the White House.
Although Mrs. Bush occasionally had a sharp tongue that could get her into trouble, she will also be remembered for another role she served.
“You know what my kids call me? The enforcer,” she said.
It was a role she seemed to relish.
She was a proud mother and often bragged about her son, George W. Bush.
Before her son became the 43rd president of the United States, he was elected governor of Texas twice.
Mrs. Bush: “Let me jus tell you, Big George and I voted for him already.” Then-Governor Bush: “That would have been news.” Mrs. Bush: “And I think he’s going to win, and I think he deserves to win. He’s been a great governor of Texas.”
Barbara Bush and her husband were asked about their secret to a successful marriage when they gathered to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1995.
“You could say great wife. Come on, great wife, you know,” she said.
Kidding aside, Mrs. Bush valued her family.
And they valued her.