COLLEGE STATION (CBSDFW.COM) – Funeral arrangements have been announced for former First Lady Barbara Bush after her passing on Tuesday. She will be buried at the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum in College Station, next to her daughter, Robin, who died at age 3 following a battle with leukemia.
While the funeral service will be a private affair, the public is invited to pay their respects to Mrs. Bush as she lay in repose on Friday, from noon to midnight, at St. Martin’s Church in Houston. Further details, including the church’s address and parking information, can be found on Mrs. Bush’s website.
There will be a private viewing on Wednesday and Thursday for Mrs. Bush’s family and friends.
The funeral in Houston and burial in College Station, both for invited guests only, will follow on Saturday afternoon. Officials said that former President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton will both attend the services for Mrs. Bush, along with their wives. The White House has stated that current First Lady Melania Trump will also be in attendance.
Mrs. Bush passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92. The family’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, released a statement Tuesday to confirm the death. McGrath had said on Sunday that Mrs. Bush had been in failing health, and had decided not to seek further medical treatment for congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The former First Lady’s legacy spanned decades of community work, including her passion for the importance of reading. She and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, frequently read to schoolchildren. Mrs. Bush then later developed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Even after leaving the White House, Mrs. Bush never stopped pursuing her goal. She came to North Texas in 1997 to headline a literacy event, as she often did. “We could only do it if business does more than pay lip service to the need for a literate work force,” she said. “And if the government makes literacy a long-term priority.”
Mrs. Bush had become quite used to politics. She helped her husband run for Congress, Vice President and President. During her husband’s re-election bid in September 1992, Mrs. Bush campaigned in Fort Worth. “My life is easy,” she explained. “The President has to make the hard decisions.”
After a tough loss, Mrs. Bush welcomed her successor, Hillary Clinton, to the White House.
However, Mrs. Bush did have a sharp tongue that could sometimes get her into trouble. “You know what my kids call me? The Enforcer,” she said. It was a role that she seemed to relish. She was a proud mother, and often bragged about her son, former President George W. Bush, who was also elected as Texas Governor twice.
George W. Bush released a statement Tuesday about his mother’s 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.
Another son, Jeb Bush, was elected as Florida Governor twice. He also released a statement on his mother’s passing.
Columba and I join every member of the Bush family in offering our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support for my Mom in recent days, and throughout her remarkable life. I’m exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring her life and contributions to our family and great nation in the coming days.
Mrs. Bush and her husband were married for 73 years. They were asked about their secret to a successful marriage when they gathered to celebrate their anniversary in 1995. “You could say great wife. Come on, great wife, you know,” she joked. Kidding aside, Mrs. Bush valued her family. And they valued her.
“George Bush knows how I feel,” Mrs. Bush had said. “He is my hero.” The former President was by his wife’s side in Houston when she died on Tuesday, and had been holding her hand throughout the day, added Jean Becker, chief of staff at Mr. Bush’s office. They are the longest-married couple in American presidential history.
The former First Lady is also being remembered in Dallas, where the family’s ties run deep. Throughout the next few days, the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas is expecting many visitors and well-wishers. That included about 80 kids from Carrollton who were bussed in for a field trip on Wednesday morning.
The outpouring of love for Mrs. Bush “is lifting us all up,” McGrath said.
George W. Bush himself will be at the center Wednesday to host a leadership forum, planned in advance of his mother’s death.
A memorial has also been created at the Dallas location, giving the public a place and opportunity to leave condolences for the Bush family. Visitors have been signing a memorial book and white ribbons are being passed out. In lieu of flowers, the Bush family has asked that donations be made to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.