Former First Lady, Barbara Bush has passed away at the age of 92 according to multiple reports. Bush was the wife of the 41st and mother of the 43rd US Presidents.
The office of her husband, former President George H. W. Bush announced her death which occurred on the heels of her decision to discontinue treatments for congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Born in 1925 in Rye, New York, Bush was active in her youth and enjoyed swimming, tennis and bike riding. At the age of 16, she met 17-year-old George Bush while attending a dance. George was a student at Philips Academy and preparing for a career in the Navy. Over the next 18 months, the pair had an intense courtship which culminated in the pair getting engaged shortly before George would leave for World War 2.
George returned on leave in late 1944 and the pair would be wed two weeks later on January 6, 1945. During the first 8 months of their marriage, the pair frequently moved around the Eastern United States to places where George’s navy squadron required training. Over the course of the first 13 years of marriage, the couple had 6 children.
It seemed like the Bush family was constantly on the move. During their marriage, the family would move some 29 times. In the first six years alone, the family moved 11 times. As George frequently travelled on business building an oil company, Barbara stayed home to raise their children.
In 1963, the Bush family moved to Houston Texas where George’s political career would launch. Although George would lose his bid for Senator in 1964, the attention put the couple on the national scene. After getting elected to Congress in 1967, the Bush family moved to Washington where Barbara was introduced to the politics of US politics.
As her husband’s political career continued to grow and climb the ranks of the Republican party, Barbara was always by his side. In 1980, she would become the Second Lady of the United States when George was elected as Vice President under Ronald Reagan. During this time, Barbara would become an international figure. During her time as Second Lady, Bush championed family literacy as her personal cause. She spent much of her time researching the causes of illiteracy and how to combat it. She even published a children’s book “C. Fred’s Story”. The proceeds of the book were donated to several literacy charities.
In 1988, George would become the 41st President of the United States and Barbara, the First Lady. As many pundits have pointed out, following in the footsteps of former first lady Nancy Reagan was no easy task. In contrast, Bush’s down to earth style was almost the complete opposite of Reagan’s glamorous and outspoken nature. Instead, Bush positioned herself as a practical woman who was concerned with getting things done.
As she entered the White House, Bush would continue to build upon the groundwork she laid with literacy advocacy during her time as the second lady. This culminated in the founding of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
In addition to her work with literacy, Bush was also quite active with the White House Historical Association. Her hard work contributed to raising $25 million dollars for the White House Endowment Trust.
Some of Bush’s greatest charity work would come in 1989. During a visit to “Grandma’s House” a home for children with HIV and AIDS, Bush would hug and hold hands with several of the patients. This was a very powerful gesture because, at the time, a common misbelief was that aids could be spread through physical contact. Bush’s actions were quite influential and led to a greater understanding of the disease.
In the years following George’s presidency, Barbara was honored by having many schools and libraries named after her. One of her greatest achievements in the years following her time in the White House was when she and George founded the George and Barbara Bush Center at the University of New England.
Bush will be remembered most for her grandmotherly image that hid an iron will and strong determination to help her family succeed. To the world, she was one of the most influential women of the 1980s and ‘90s. To her family, she was a dedicated wife, caring mother and loving grandparent. Although she will be missed by many, her legacy and charitable work will continue to help many for years to come.
This entry was posted in Celebrity Deaths on April 18th, 2018 by ObitTree .
ObitTree.com is the obituary engine of the National Obituary Registry and a hub for all things death care.View all posts by ObitTree