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Those close to the late former President George H. W. Bush will continue his passion for sentimental socks even after his death on Friday at 94 years old

By Maura Hohman
December 03, 2018 11:48 AM
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Those close to the late former President George H. W. Bush will continue his passion for sentimental socks even after his death on Friday at 94 years old.

According to a tweet by the 41st president’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, Bush “will be carried to his final rest wearing socks that pay tribute to his lifetime of service, starting as an 18-year-old naval aviator in war.”

McGrath continued, “That legacy is now being carried, in part, by the brave, selfless men and women aboard [USS George H.W. Bush.]”

On his 18th birthday in 1942, the Texas Republican enlisted in the Navy, deferring his acceptance to Yale University so he could fight in World War II, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Just one year later, he became the youngest pilot in the Navy at the time.

Former President George Bush
George H. W. Bush
| Credit: Pam Francis/Getty

Time reports Bush was the last president to serve in combat. Going to war at just 19 as a carrier-based bomber pilot, he completed 58 combat missions and survived two crashes.

For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three air medals.

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George H. W. Bush
| Credit: George H.W. Bush/Twitter

The father of six became known for his love of fun socks in the months before he died. In April, he honored his late wife Barbara’s literacy activism by wearing socks with books on them to her funeral.

“To honor his wife of 73 years and her commitment to family literacy, for which she raised over $110 million over the course of over 30 years, George H.W. Bush will be wearing a pair of socks festooned with books,” McGrath tweeted at the time.

The next month, Bush paid tribute to the beloved matriarch when he attended the musical Hamilton, which the former first lady had always wanted to see.

“Finally had the chance yesterday to catch some new friends in action @HamiltonMusical,” Bush wrote on Twitter, adding that he was “properly attired in Hamilton socks” while being “surrounded by family and friends.”

george-bush
George H. W. Bush
| Credit: George Bush/Twitter

“Not a big hashtag man, but congratulations #HamFam!!” he added, after praising the production’s “epic story and performance.”

And in June, when fellow former president Bill Clinton paid Bush a visit, he showed off some blue socks that had the Arkansas Democrat’s face stitched into them.

“Special visit today with a great friend — and now, a best-selling author. Luckily I had a freshly laundered pair of Bill Clinton socks to mark the occasion,” Bush tweeted.

Bush died Friday at 10:10 p.m., McGrath previously confirmed.

“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,” the former president’s office said in a statement.

George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
| Credit: Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty

“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush.”