Former First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush, wife of one former President and mother to another, passed away earlier today at the age of 92. Here are a selection of quotes from those mourning her loss around America tonight:
First, and most heartbreakingly, an update from her beloved husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush, who was by her side to the end:
Jean Becker, chief of staff at the Office of George H. W. Bush, gave this update on the 41st President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/pjOKi3szVc
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) April 18, 2018
Her son, former President George W. Bush:
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.
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) April 18, 2018
Her son, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL):
Columba and I join every member of the Bush family in offering our sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support for my Mom in recent days, and throughout her remarkable life. I’m exceptionally privileged to be the son of George Bush and the exceptionally gracious, gregarious, fun, funny, loving, tough, smart, graceful woman who was the force of nature known as Barbara Bush. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring her life and contributions to our family and great nation in the coming days.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump:
Vice President Mike Pence:
Our statement on the passing of Barbara Bush: pic.twitter.com/haIPhDS2bd
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 18, 2018
Second Lady Karen Pence:
When I first met Barbara Bush in 1988 as she entertained spouses of congressional candidates at the @VP Residence, her sage advice and words of encouragement touched my life in a profound way. Since becoming Second Lady, she has become a trusted friend. I will miss her. pic.twitter.com/xmJzUQHVhI
— Second Lady Karen Pence (@SecondLady) April 18, 2018
Former President Barack Obama:
Our statement on the passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush: pic.twitter.com/MhTVYCL9Nj
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 18, 2018
Former President Bill Clinton:
Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman. She had grit & grace, brains & beauty. She was fierce & feisty in support of her family & friends, her country & her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like. Hillary and I mourn her passing and bless her memory.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) April 17, 2018
Former President Jimmy Carter and Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter:
Statement from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter on the passing of Barbara Bush. pic.twitter.com/OibQmXipao
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) April 18, 2018
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R-TX), her grandson:
My grandmother's entire life was focused on others. For my grandfather, she was his top adviser and confidante. For her family, she was a steady, loving and guiding hand. And for her country, she was an inspiration and an example for all. 1/2
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) April 17, 2018
My grandmother didn't just live life; she lived it well. And the sorrow of her loss is softened by the knowledge of her impact on our family and our country. I will miss you, Ganny—but know we will see you again. 2/2
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) April 17, 2018
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX):
Barbara Bush dedicated her life to helping others. As only the second woman in history to be both the wife and mother of U.S. presidents, Barbara had a unique and profound impact on our country.
Spearheading the fight against illiteracy, she created the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, working to improve the lives of those less fortunate through education. Her selfless devotion to service defines the inspiring legacy Barbara has left behind. Her impact on Texas and our nation will forever be treasured.
Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to President George H.W. Bush and the entire Bush family during this difficult time. We ask that all Texans join us in keeping them in their thoughts and prayers as they mourn the passing of a devoted wife, mother, and public servant.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
Elaine and I join my Senate colleagues and the entire nation in offering our condolences to the Bush family on this sad day.
America has known and loved Barbara Bush for decades. That’s because to get to know Barbara Bush was to admire her. To many, her most famous traits might have seemed to be her renowned toughness and steely resolve. She wielded these formidable qualities on behalf of her nation, the family she loved, and the many worthy causes she supported. Advocates of literacy, in particular, have bid farewell to a generational champion for their efforts.
But what really defined Barbara’s life was her deep love for her lucky husband George, for her family, and for the country.
Today a nation joins the Bush family, their many friends, and all the country in their grief, and in prayer.
Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX):
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) April 18, 2018
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):
Our nation mourns the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was a great woman, whose commitment to God and country inspired all Americans. Her legacy will live on through her family. Jeanette and I are keeping the Bush family in our prayers.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL):
Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman and terrific first lady. We are all saddened by the news of her passing.
— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) April 18, 2018
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):
My prayers are with the Bush family at the passing of their beloved Barbara, an eternal First Lady in the heart of every Texan.
She was as much a public servant as her husband and children: traveling the world as advisor and ambassador, campaigning for adult literacy programs at home, and, of course, making George Senior eat his broccoli. Standing beside him through Congress, the UN, the CIA, and 12 years at the White House, Mrs. Bush approached her public role with a class and grace seldom matched in our nation’s capital.
But it was her private role which she prized above all.
From China to Texas to Washington DC, Barbara Bush worked on a beautiful floral needlepoint rug, stitching together changing times and geography with constant love and support for her family. Her masterpiece eventually graced the floors of the Executive Mansion, making the White House a true home. It was a symbol of her lifelong tapestry of love and service, stronger than executive orders, long hours, and sleepless nights.
In her famous address for the 1990 Commencement at Wellesley College, she reminded graduates to treasure their human connections above worldly concerns:
‘At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.’
And at the end of her life, Barbara Bush had no cause for regret.
Indeed, she gave her family, the people of Texas, and all Americans a lifetime worth celebrating.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE):
Barbara Bush lived an extraordinary life of devotion, love, and laughter. She was a blessing to the First Family and the nation. Melissa and I lift up the entire Bush family in our prayers during this time.
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) April 18, 2018
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI):
Barbara Bush holds a revered place in the hearts of generations of Americans. She so loved her family and our country. She led both with clarity and character. To Mrs. Bush’s family, I extend the deepest condolences of the whole House. May she rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/Jy7zifU7gK
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 18, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):
Tonight is a sad night for America. First Lady Barbara Bush will be remembered for the dignity, civility & spirit she brought to every thing she did. But most of all, everyone who knew Mrs. Bush saw her immense love for & pride in her family. pic.twitter.com/bDrauy3U67
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 18, 2018
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX):
Barbara Bush was the original ‘thousand points of life’ by urging, applauding, and at times insisting that we live up to higher standards of family, honor and duty. Heaven will surely rejoice tonight as she joins her Savior, pearls and all. pic.twitter.com/YaayiKJusf
— Rep. Kevin Brady (@RepKevinBrady) April 18, 2018
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX):
I join my fellow Americans in honoring and revering the life of a beloved First Lady, dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother, and a woman who has made an immense impact on our country. Karen and I offer our deepest condolences and hold the Bush family in our prayers.
— Pete Sessions (@PeteSessions) April 18, 2018
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt:
Rest In Peace Mrs. Barbara Bush.
You were a beautiful light in this world and I am forever thankful for your friendship. pic.twitter.com/yuZvQ7o8aH
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 17, 2018
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.