Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at 92

By Diana Pearl
April 20, 2018 01:45 PM
Advertisement

She was known as America’s grandmother — and many ordinary Americans are lining up to pay their respects.

With many mourners donning pearls in a nod to the former first lady’s signature accessory, Barbara Bush is lying in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston Friday, one day before her invitation-only funeral.

Thousands of members of the public are coming to pay their respects to the late first lady, who died Tuesday at 92 years old, as the doors of the church opened to the public at noon local time, and were to remain open until midnight.

Her casket was brought to the church early Friday morning, and the church is just a few blocks away from the home she lived in with husband of 73 years, President George H.W. Bush, after he lost his reelection bid for president in 1992.

People were already lining up early Friday morning, at the nearby Second Baptist Church to undergo a security screening before being taken to St. Martin’s for the viewing, according to Click2Houston.

Barbara Bush, Houston, USA - 20 Apr 2018
Credit: David J. Phillip/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The funeral will be attended by numerous notables, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, and the former first lady’s family, including former President George W. Bush, and wife Laura. President Donald Trump will not attend the funeral, in order to “avoid disruptions,” but First Lady Melania Trump will attend as a representative of the White House.

RELATED VIDEO: George H.W. Bush Held His Dying Wife’s Hand All Day Before She Passed Away: ‘He Is Broken-Hearted’

The former first lady selected three people to deliver eulogies at Saturday’s funeral: son Jeb Bush, friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham.

Mourners Pay Their Respects To Late First Lady Barbara Bush
Credit: Richard Carson - Pool/Getty

Barbara Bush was widely praised for her sharp wit and devotion to her family, including to her “broken-hearted” husband, who held his dying’s wife hand as she slipped away Tuesday.

But the former president assured the public to “cross the Bushes off your worry list” after her death, noting that “we have faith she is heaven, and we know life will go on — as she would have it.”

Mourners Pay Their Respects To Late First Lady Barbara Bush
Credit: Richard Carson - Pool/Getty

Granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager also paid tribute to her formidable “Ganny,” reading an emotional letter to the former first lady on Today Thursday: “You are our family’s rock, the glue that held us together.

“I hope you know in your final days how many people prayed for you,” Bush Hager continued. “How many people told me they loved you. People stopped me everywhere — in airports, on the street — and declared their love for you.”