Former first lady, Barbara Bush, has passed away at the age of 92.
The news comes as little surprise, because on Sunday, the office of her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, issued a statement saying that after consulting her family and her doctors, Mrs. Bush had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.”
The Bushes celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.
Mrs. Bush had been hospitalized with pneumonia in December 2013. She underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer in 2008 and had heart surgery four months later.
Bush suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, and Graves’ disease.
Bush was only the second woman in American history to have been the wife and mother of U.S. presidents. She was the wife of the 41st president, and the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush. The only other woman with that distinction is Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.
Barbara Bush was known for her philanthropic efforts, most particularly, her work with literacy and the founding of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
She was born Barbara Pierce in New York City and was the daughter of Pauline (née Robinson) and Marvin Pierce. Her father was the president of McCall Corporation, the publisher of the popular women’s magazines Redbook and McCall’s. Barbara Bush grew up with two elder siblings (Martha and James) and a younger brother named Scott. Her ancestor Thomas Pierce, Jr., an early New England colonist, was also an ancestor of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States. She was a fourth cousin, four times removed, of Franklin Pierce and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Bush died in her Houston home at the age of 92 on Tuesday, April 17.
Her son George W. Bush tweeted, “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. 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.”
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump sent condolences, and said: “As a wife, mother, grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. She will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family.” Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also sent condolences.
Her funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday, April 21, with the burial at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.