Several former U.S. presidents were among the hundreds of mourners to pay their respects Saturday to former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at the age of 92.
She was the wife of the 41st U.S. president, George H.W. Bush, and the mother of George W. Bush, the country’s 43rd president.
In addition to her husband and oldest son, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton attended Bush’s funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in the southern city of Houston, Texas.
Bush and her husband began attending the church after moving to Houston in the 1950s.
First lady Melania Trump was also at the invitation-only service, as were former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Melania Trump represented President Donald Trump at the service.The president tweeted Saturday that he was “Heading to the Southern White House” (his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida) to watch the funeral on television.
The former first lady selected her second-oldest son and former Florida governor Jeb Bush to deliver the eulogy, along with her longtime friend Susan Baker, the wife of former secretary of State James Baker III. Historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a biography of her husband, will also participate in the eulogy.
“She was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning,” Jeb Bush said.He also joked that his mother called her style “a benevolent dictatorship.”
“But honestly, it wasn’t always benevolent,” he said, drawing laughter from the congregation.
Baker described Barbara Bush as “smart, strong, fun and feisty.”
Thousands of people attended a viewing Friday to say farewell to Bush, one of the country’s most influential political matriarchs.
Bush will be buried at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 160 kilometers from Houston, where the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Robin, is buried. She died of leukemia in 1953.