Ex-Presidents Among Mourners Expected at Barbara Bush Funeral

Elias Hubbard
April 21, 2018

After seeing how many people had lined up to pay their respects to his wife, former President George H.W. Bush chose to attend - he sat at the front of the church in a wheelchair, offering his hand and smiled as people shook it, for about 15 minutes.

Mourners will gather at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston to celebrate the life of the matriarch of the Bush family, who was the wife of a president and the mother of another.

The president will not be attending former first lady's private viewing on Saturday, and will be golfing.

President Donald Trump will not attend Saturday's service, to "avoid disruptions" and out of respect for the Bush family, the White House has said.

Guests arriving for the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush are starting to fill the nation's largest Episcopal church, embracing and talking beneath the church's cavernous sanctuary. The first attendees arrived on city buses escorted by Houston police motorcycle units Saturday morning, and walked into St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston in a light drizzle of rain. The park is a place Barbara Bush and her husband often frequented.

Similarly, in 2016, then-President Obama did not attend the funeral of former first lady Nancy Reagan, while his wife did.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will serve as one of the eight designated pallbearers for his grandmother's funeral service. Jeb Bush, will deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend, Susan Baker, and historian Jon Meacham, according to a statement from the Bush family.

Officials say more than 6,200 people came through the church Friday to pay their final respects to the former first lady, who died Tuesday at her Houston home. Bush's body will be taken to the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M in College Station.

While Saturday's invitation-only service will be for family and friends, a viewing was held on Friday for the public, where people paid their respects at the church until midnight. Expected guests include former president Bill and Mrs. Bill Clinton, former president and Mrs. Barack Obama and First Lady Melania Trump will be guests among 1,500 others.

Bush, only the second woman in United States history to have had a husband and son elected President, died Tuesday at the age of 92 at her home in Houston.

The gated plot is in an area surrounded by trees and near a creek where the couple's three-year-old daughter, Robin, is buried.

Numerous women who came to pay their respects wore Barbara Bush's favorite color, blue, and strands of pearls in tribute to Mrs. As her health failed in recent days, she was moved into comfort care at her home in Houston.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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