Private funeral for Barbara Bush to take place on Saturday

Former US first lady, wife of one president and mother of another, has died aged 92

Former US first lady Barbara Bush has died aged 91, in an archive interview from 2013 she spoke about her faith and how she did not fear death. Video: C-Span


A private funeral for former US first lady Barbara Bush, the only American woman to see her husband and son both sworn in as president, will be held on Saturday at a Houston church where her family has been members since the 1950s, officials said.

Mrs Bush, the wife of the 41st president, George HW Bush, and mother of the 43rd, George W Bush, died on Tuesday at the age of 92.

After the funeral at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, she will be buried on Saturday on the grounds of the George HW Bush Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, about 160km away, the university said.

She will be buried beside her daughter, Robin, who died at the age of 3 after battling leukemia, the university said in a statement late on Tuesday.

First lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral, her office said on Wednesday. The White House has not yet said whether President Donald Trump will attend.

Flags flew at half-staff at the White House and the US Capitol in Mrs Bush’s honour.

On Friday, she will lay in repose at St Martin’s, which will be open to members of the public wishing to pay their respects, the Houston church said on its website.

Rev Russ Levinson, senior pastor at St Martin’s, said the church had about 250 members when the Bushes began attending services there, and would often serve coffee on Sunday mornings.

“Both of them taught in our Sunday school programme. Both of them have been involved in our outreach ministries,” he said. The church has grown to about 9,300 members to become the largest Episcopal church in North America, according to its website.

The Bush family had said in a statement on Sunday that Mrs Bush was in failing health and would not seek further medical treatment.

According to some news media reports, Mrs Bush had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart problems in recent years.

The only other woman to be both wife and mother of US presidents was Abigail Adams, the first lady from 1797 to 1801. She was a major influence on her husband John Adams, the nation’s second president, but died before son John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824. – Reuters