MIDLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Jenna Welch, the mother of former first lady Laura Bush, has died in Texas. She was 99.
Granddaughter and namesake Jenna Bush Hager said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show that Welch, a longtime Midland, Texas, resident, died Friday. The “Today” co-anchor said her grandmother loved nature and “taught us every star in the sky.”
Laura Bush in an Instagram post called her mother “a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature.” An obituary in the Midland Reporter-Telegram said the family held a funeral Saturday in Midland.
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This Mother’s Day, I’m remembering my mother, who passed away at the age of 99 on Friday morning. Jenna Hawkins Welch was a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature. My memories of reading with her and stargazing under the Midland sky are reminders of the passions that she nurtured in me. Our family is grateful for her long and wonderful life. We miss her dearly.
Born on July 24, 1919, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Welch was raised near El Paso. She and her husband, Harold Welch, moved to Midland in 1946 after he returned from serving in World War II. Harold Welch died in 1995.
Former President George W. Bush and Laura received the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal during a ceremony on Veterans Day last year.
They were honored with the 30th annual Liberty Medal for their commitment to veterans.