HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A spray of flowers covered the closed silver casket of former first lady Barbara Bush in the sanctuary of the Houston church as mourners paid their final respects.
People were waiting in line hours early for security screening before boarding shuttle buses to attend a public viewing at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where Bush and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, regularly attended services.
Mrs. Bush’s body will lie in repose from noon to midnight at St. Martin’s located at 717 Sage Road in Houston, the nation’s largest Episcopal church. The public must go to the Second Baptist Church at 6400 Woodway Drive to park and pass through security. The parking lots can be entered from Voss Road.
Many women wore blue, Barbara Bush’s favorite color, and pearls, her go-to neckwear jewelry.
Lucy Orlando was one of the more than 100 people in line 90 minutes before bus service began, travelling from Weston, Florida, to pay her respects. Originally from Haiti, the 74-year-old Orlando said has admired Barbara Bush for many years, including her work in promoting literacy.
“She was a very sweet lady and she loves people,” said Orlando, who was carrying a gray suitcase containing framed photos of the couple and members of their family, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.
Social worker Varney Johnson, of Houston, said he came also to honor the former first lady’s work in supporting literacy efforts.
“This woman dedicated her life to educating children,” said the 49-year-old Johnson, who is originally from Liberia.
He said he also wanted to thank her son, George W. Bush, for work during his presidency to help his home country.
A hearse containing the former first lady’s casket arrived before daybreak at the Houston church.
An invitation-only funeral is scheduled for Saturday at St. Martin’s and Mrs. Bush 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.
Barbara Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)