Coming Together to Honor Former First Lady Barbara Bush

April of this year saw the death of one of the most beloved first ladies in our nation’s history: 92-year-old Barbara Bush.  

The matriarch of the Bush family, Barbara’s 73-year marriage to former president George Herbert Walker Bush was the longest of any presidential couple. She was also the mother of another president, and was well-loved and respected not just by her family and friends but by the American people.  

Barbara’s funeral service and viewing were held at her home church, St Martin’s Episcopal, in Houston. Nearly 8,000 people came to pay their respects, and many women wore blue because it was her favorite color.  

At the funeral, a white-robed choir sang My Country Tis of Thee. There was an ivory pall on the casket during the service, and later a large spray of pink and yellow roses, snapdragons and hydrangeas. Barbara’s pastor praised her straightforward nature and warmth, while her son Jeb delivered a eulogy, reading a love letter from George that had been written on their 49th wedding anniversary. Eulogies were also given by her biographer and a longtime friend, and her granddaughters took turns reading scripture verses.  

There were tears and laughter as people remembered and celebrated this witty, loving woman who gave so much to our nation. Her grandsons served as pallbearers, and many dignitaries were in attendance, including the Clintons, the Obamas, and Melania Trump. It was particularly meaningful to see these political figures seated together, united in their wish to honor Mrs. Bush. The final song of the service was Joyful We Adore Thee, sung by the congregation.  

Because Barbara had planned her funeral herself, there were no questions about what she would’ve wanted. Meeting with her pastor a few weeks before she passed away, she laid out her expectations and wishes for a meaningful event that would reflect her personality, her spirit and her life.  

At Chapel of the Chimes, we’ll help you plan a life-honoring service for a loved one or preplan for yourself. When you preplan, you can choose everything from your final resting place to the site of your service to your flowers, music, attendees and readings. By preplanning, you can also save your family from having to guess about your wishes at a time when they are already mourning your loss. To learn more about preplanning, call us at 510.400.4442. 

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