According to reporting by CNN Former first lady Barbara Bush, one of only two women in American history to have been both the wife and the mother of a U.S. president, died in her home in Houston on Tuesday at the age of 92.
She had been in declining health for some time and recently decided not to seek further treatment.
Known for her shock of white hair and trademark pearls, Barbara Bush was quickly branded the nation’s “grandmother in chief” when her husband, President George H.W. Bush, ascended to the White House in 1988. But her matronly appearance and polite disposition concealed a sharp tongue and devilish wit that she later became known for, as she increasingly stepped forward as her husband’s defender during his presidency and a rough-and-tumble reelection campaign that he ultimately lost to Bill Clinton.
Mrs. Bush served as the country’s first lady from 1989 to 1993. She passed away shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.
Having been hospitalized numerous times while battling congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she decided Sunday that she wanted to be “surrounded by a family she adores,” according to an earlier statement released by Mr. Bush’s office.
“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others,” the statement continued. “She is surrounded by a family she adores and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Mrs. Bush’s funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Chuch in Houston. She will lie in repose Friday, when the public will be allowed to pay their respects until midnight. A private service for 1,500 guests will then be held Saturday.