HOUSTON – Four former U.S. Presidents and hundreds of others gathered at a church for one final farewell on Saturday for Barbara Bush; remembered as the “first lady of the greatest generation.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked that his mother called her style of mothering him and his siblings “a benevolent dictatorship — but honestly, it wasn’t always benevolent.” He emphasized how she believed in the power of laughter and that joy should be shared.
He choked up at one point while addressing the roughly 1,500 people seated inside the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parents regularly worshipped, when saying his mother — who was known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and gray hair — was “beautiful” until the very end.
President Donald Trump did not attend to avoid security disruptions and “out of respect for the Bush family and friends attending the service,” according to the White House. He said his thoughts were with the family.
Melania Trump issued a statement after the funeral saying it was an honor to give her respects to a “fearless” first lady, adding: “Today the world paid tribute to a woman of indisputable character and grace.”