The United States is a nation in mourning after the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush. At age 92, the Bush matriarch declined medical treatment for her declining health and ultimately passed on Tuesday, April 18.
“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. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes,” said her son, President George W. Bush in an official statement.
Bush served her country for a number of years, meeting with dignitaries and celebrities to help bring change across the globe. In those meetings, Bush often developed friendships, one of which with Reba McEntire. Much like the thousands expressing their condolences across the web, Reba was among the few to have personal experiences with the late First Lady.
“Mrs. Barbara Bush was one-of-a-kind. I was so honored the day she called me “Dearie”. ❤️ I learned so much from her. Mainly to enjoy life, and spend more time with your family and friends. Mrs. Bush, I will miss you so much, my friend. Happy trails to you, till we meet again. Love, Reba,” the country icon wrote in a post to Instagram, among a gallery of photos from throughout the years.
Reba wasn’t the only one to honor the late Bush, as Brad Paisley, JJ Watt, President and Former First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama were among those sharing their thoughts.
Barbara Bush was married to President George H. W. Bush for 73 years. Her eldest son, George W. Bush, also served as President, making her the second woman in history to be both a wife and mother of presidents and the only to live to see them both serve in office.
A champion of literacy, Bush worked hard to fund programs that would teach parents of low-income families to read and pass their love for reading onto their children and created the Barbara Bush Foundation For Family Literacy.
“If everyone could read and write, all the problems I worried about could be solved,” she told USA TODAY in 2014. “If you can’t read, you can’t do anything.”
Members of the public can pay respects on Friday, April 20 between 12 p.m. and midnight at St. Martin’s Church in Houston, CBS reports. The funeral service is by invite only.