Barbara Bush, former US first lady, dies at 92


Barbara Bush, a former US first lady, died on Tuesday at the age of 92, Jim McGrath, spokesman for the family, confirmed in a statement.

He said: “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.

“She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George HW Bush; five children and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and her brother, Scott Pierce.

“She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce.

“The official funeral schedule will be announced as soon as is practical.”

Barbara served as the country’s first lady from 1989 to 1993.

George W Bush, Former US president, described his mother as a “fabulous first lady”.

He said: “My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was.

“Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions.

“To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother.”

Jeb Bush, a former governor, said his mother lived a remarkable life.

“I’m exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush,” he said.

“Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to celebrating and honouring her life and contributions to our family and great nation in the coming days.”

George and Barbara had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.

Jean Becker, chief of staff at George HW Bush office, said the former president was “broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years.

“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth”.

Barbara had been hospitalised multiple times throughout the year due to complications involving chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

In January 2017, Barbara and her husband were hospitalised at the same time and while she was being treated for bronchitis, he was being treated for pneumonia.

Barbara’s funeral is expected to be held at St Martin’s Church in Houston, where she and the former president have been devoted members for decades.  (Agency Report)

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