Houston: Barbara Pierce Bush, the admired wife of one US president and a loyal mother of another, passed away today at the age of 92 at her home in Houston.
Her husband George Herbert Walker Bush, the former US president and her son George Walker Bush, also a former president, were by her side along with other family members when she breathed her last.
“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92,” said a statement from the office of her husband.
The beloved Bush family matriarch was remembered by her husband, children and grandchildren following her death.
Son and former President George W Bush released a statement saying his “dear mother” had passed away and that the family would “miss her dearly”.
Former President Bush said that his mother “kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end”. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in a statement said that he was “exceptionally privileged” to be her son.
George H W Bush was “broken-hearted” to lose his wife, his chief of staff Jean Becker said in a statement.
“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when [she] left this good earth,” Becker said.
George W Bush and Jeb Bush detailed how lucky they were to have Barbara as their mother in statements.
“Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was,” George W Bush said.
Funeral arrangements would be announced as soon as is practical, the statement said.
She is survived by her husband, five children including former President George W Bush and her brother Scott Pierce, as well as 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Over the past few years, she had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. In her final days, she decided against seeking additional medical treatment.
Bush was last hospitalised for bronchitis in January of 2017 alongside her husband, who was being treated in the ICU.
Dedicated to her family and largely indifferent to glamour, Bush played down her role in her husband’s political success.
But she was a shrewd and valuable ally, becoming a sought-after speaker in at least four national campaigns: in 1980, when Bush was chosen to be Ronald Reagan’s running mate; in 1984, when the two ran for re-election; in 1988, when Mr. Bush campaigned for president; and in 1992, when he sought re-election, New York Times reported
She stepped into another presidential campaign in 2000, that of her son George, then the governor of Texas. She appeared at fund-raisers and met voters in New Hampshire and other states on his behalf as he rolled to the Republican presidential nomination, the report said. PTI