by Sabrina Guilbeault ’18
On the night of Tuesday, April 17, Barbara Bush, former first lady and wife of the 41st President of the United States and mother of the 43rd president, passed away at 92-years-old.
“Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman,” tweeted 44th President Bill Clinton. “She was fierce and feisty in support of her family and friends, her country and her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant full life looks like.”
It was announced this past Sunday that Mrs. Bush decided to not seek additional medical treatment for her declining health and would “instead focus on comfort care.”
She and Abigail Adams are the only first ladies in U.S. history to also see their sons as presidents.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family as they honor the remarkable life of former first lady Barbara Bush,” said the Obama Foundation via Twitter, calling her an example of the humility that reflects the very best of the American spirit.
According to an article by CNN, Mrs. Bush was at her husband’s side for his nearly 30-year political career, and was not only a defender of him but also an ally.
She was a proponent of women’s rights, and sometimes her ideology clashed with traditional Republican party politics—she once said that abortion should not be politicized while her husband was president.
In the 1980s while her husband was vice president, Mrs. Bush created the nonprofit Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She and her husband raised more than $1 billion for literacy and cancer charities.
“I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society,” she had said.
In an opinion article by the Washington Post, it was said that Mrs. Bush “understood that with the role of first lady came not just an opportunity to live well but also the obligation to do good.”
Mrs. Bush was born in New York City in 1925, and married George H.W. Bush in 1945 while he was on leave during his deployment as a naval officer in World War II. She is survived by her husband, George H.W.; sons George W., Neil, Marvin,and Jeb; daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch; and her 17 grandchildren.
Her funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on April 21, 2018, with burial at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
“I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact,” said her husband in a statement on Wednesday. “We have faith that she is in heaven, and we know that life will go on as she would have it.”