Barbara Bush will be buried in Texas.
Born in New York City, educated in traditional New England prep schools, the daughter in law of a Connecticut Senator, was a Texan at heart, and a Texan by design, when she moved with her husband George H.W. Bush, to Odessa to Midland and eventually to Houston, where she raised her family and became only the second woman in American history to be the wife and mother of a President of the United States.
Mrs. Bush will be buried on the grounds of the Bush Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, following a service at the Library which is expected to draw dignitaries from around the world.
“Today, the Aggie nation is mourning a family member,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “In a very real sense Barbara Bush was a mother figure to all Aggies because of her towering example of selfless service to family and nation. She endeared herself to us forever.”
Barbara and George H.W. Bush chose College Station as the site of their Presidential library during their years in the White House. Since then, the Bush Center has housed numerous government officials, diplomats, energy executives, and top level meetings bringing together the leaders of politics, industry, and culture.
“We offer our prayers and condolences to the Bush family tonight. First Lady Barbara Bush was an exemplary public servant,” Texas A&M University President Michael Young said in a statement. “It remains an honor that Texas A&M University was chosen to house the President’s Library, as well as the Bush School of Government and Public Service, and the Bush Foundation. We will always strive to live up to her legacy of service.”
Matthew Wilson, a professor of political science at SMU, says Mrs. Bush was universally respected because of her successful advocacy of causes ranging from literacy, homelessness, AIDS care and treatment and elder care, while reserving comment on political issues.
"She was involved in a whole host of important and fascinating political roles over multiple decades," Wilson said. "How much pride she must have felt to be both the wife of a President, and then see her son elected President, truly an extraordinary set of achievements."
And all the while, Mrs. Bush managed to stay out of a political limelight which was at the beginning of taking on the strident tones we see today, once saying 'it is not my opinion that matters, it is George's opinion that matters.'
Warren Finch, director of the Bush Library and Museum, said Mrs. Bush will be sorely missed.“Hers was a life well-lived — she was a wonderful woman and her legacy will outlive us,” he said.
Finch said she was an integral part of the library for more than 25 years — from the planning period through it opening 21 years ago and even until late last year when she contributed digital photographs and memorabilia.
“She started keeping scrapbooks soon after she was engaged in 1943 and she kept up with these detailed tributes, so over the years she amassed more than 100 scrapbooks. She generously donated these to the Bush Library and Museum.”