The Latest: Barbara Bush’s casket wheeled out of church

The Latest: Barbara Bush's casket wheeled out of church
The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the funeral and burial of former first lady Barbara Bush (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Barbara Bush’s casket has been wheeled out of the Houston church where hundreds of people came to offer their final respects during her funeral.

Eight of her grandsons served as pallbearers. Behind them, her husband and former President George H.W. Bush followed in his wheelchair, which was pushed by their son, former President George W. Bush.

As he was pushed down the walkway in the church, George H.W. Bush shook hands with some of the people who were in the pews. In his lap, he carried his glasses and a copy of the funeral program.

Mourners sang “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee” as the family left the nation’s largest episcopal church.

Burial will follow at the Bush Library in College Station, Texas.

She will be buried next to their 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953

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12:15 p.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked how his mother called her style of mothering him and his siblings “a benevolent dictatorship — but honestly it wasn’t always benevolent.”

Bush delivered a eulogy during the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92.

He emphasized how one of the most important lessons she taught him and others was the power of laughter and that joy should be shared.

He choked up at one point, saying his mother — who was known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and gray hair — was “beautiful” until the very end.

Bush said he felt priviliged that he had a “front row” seat to the incredible love story that his parents shared.

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11:45 a.m.

Historian Jon Meacham says Barbara Bush is the “first lady of the greatest generation.”

Meacham spoke to hundreds of people attending the funeral Saturday for the former first lady in Houston.

He said in his eulogy that the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd was “candid and comforting, steadfast and straightforward, honest and loving.”

Meacham recalled her work bringing awareness to AIDS patients and in promoting literacy. He also spoke of her quick wit that made her so popular.

Meacham said she was devoted to her husband of 73 years, saying former President George H.W. Bush was the “only boy she ever kissed.”

Meacham wrote a 2015 biography of George H.W. Bush, who is attending the service along with many members of his family and three other former presidents. His granddaughters are providing readings during the service and his grandsons are serving as pallbearers.

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11 a.m.

Former President George H.W. Bush has arrived with his family at the funeral for his wife of 73 years, former first lady Barbara Bush.

The former president was helped in with a wheelchair behind his sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and other Bush relatives.

Also now seated in the front of the church, in the same pew, are two other former presidents — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — along with their wives and current first lady Melania Trump.

President Donald Trump isn’t attending the service but released a statement saying his “thoughts and prayers” are “with the entire Bush family.”

About 1,500 people are expected at the private service Saturday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Barbara Bush and her husband regularly worshipped at the church, which is the largest Episcopal church in the country.

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10:30 a.m.

Guests arriving for the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush are starting to fill the nation’s largest Episcopal church, embracing and talking beneath the church’s cavernous sanctuary.

About 1,500 people are expected at the private service Saturday at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where Mrs. Bush and her husband, George H.W. Bush, long worshipped.

Along with the former president, three other former presidents also will attend: the couple’s son, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

A program shows that Barbara Bush’s granddaughters will offer a reading during the service and her grandsons will serve pallbearers. Her son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will deliver a eulogy, as will longtime friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of George H.W. Bush.

Officials say more than 6,200 people came through the church Friday to pay their final respects to the former first lady, who died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.

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9:30 a.m.

Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin’s Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

About 1,500 people are expected at Saturday’s private service, including four former presidents — Bush’s husband and son, George H.W. and George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

First lady Melania Trump will be at the service, but the White House said this week that President Donald Trump wouldn’t attend “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service.”

After the service, Barbara Bush will be laid to rest in a gated plot at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University where her and her husband’s daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3, is also buried.

Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Bush, who died Tuesday at her Houston home at age 92.

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12:05 a.m.

Some 1,500 guests are expected to attend a private funeral for Barbara Bush at the nation’s largest Episcopal church.

First lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, and former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are among those expected to attend the invitation-only service at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Burial will follow at the Bush Library in College Station, Texas.

Son and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, longtime friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of George H.W. Bush, will deliver eulogies.

Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Barbara Bush, wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the nation’s 43rd. Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.

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