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Four former US presidents attend Barbara Bush funeral

Four former US presidents were among 1,500 mourners who gathered in Houston, Texas to say goodbye to former first lady Barbara Bush.

Mrs Bush was wife of 41st president George HW Bush and mother of 43rd president George W Bush.

She died at her home in Texas on 17 April at the age of 92.

Image:About 1,500 guests were at St Martin's Episcopal Church for the funeral of Barbara Bush

Her invitation-only funeral was held at St Martin's Episcopal Church and was attended by Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, among others.

First Lady Melania Trump arrives at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas
Image:First Lady Melania Trump attended but her husband did not

Current First Lady Melania Trump also attended, although without her husband President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump had said he was staying away to "avoid disruptions due to added security" but added that he would be watching the funeral.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama greet first lady Melania Trump at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston
Image:Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama

Also among the 1,500 guests were former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and professional golfer Phil Mickelson.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the eulogy at funeral service for his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston
Image:Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush delivers a eulogy

Mrs Bush had selected son Jeb, former Florida governor and one time presidential hopeful, to deliver a eulogy, along with her long-time friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham.

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) waves alongside his parents, former President George Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush upon their arrival Fort Hood, Texas, April 8, 2007
Image:Barbara Bush was wife of one president and mother to another

Jeb Bush said his mother had "filled our lives with laughter and joy.

"In the case of our family, she was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning."

The casket is brought into St. Martin's Episcopal Church during the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas
Image:Barbara Bush died at the age of 92 in Texas

Mr Meacham said Mrs Bush was the "first lady of the greatest generation", describing her as "candid and comforting, steadfast and straightforward, honest and loving".

He highlighted Mrs Bush's work in AIDS awareness and literacy.

Accompanied by his wife, Hillary Clinton,left, former President Bill Clinton arrives at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )
Image:Hillary Clinton and husband Bill arrive at the church

Mrs Bush's grand-daughters offered readings and eight of her grand-sons were pallbearers.

Jenna Bush Hager speaks during a funeral service for her grandmother, former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas
Image:Barbara Bush's grandchildren played a role in the funeral, including Jenna Bush Hager

Mrs Bush's coffin had been held in repose for 12 hours until midnight on Friday, where Mr Bush Snr paid his respects and joined around 6,000 mourners on Friday, spending time shaking the hands of many during a 15-minute visit.

He also attended his wife's funeral, assisted by his son George W Bush.

George W. Bush is shown with his father, future President George Bush and mother, future first lady Barbara Bush in Rye, New York, in this file photo taken during the summer of 1955
Image:George HW Bush, son George W and wife Barbara, pictured in 1955

Mrs Bush will be buried at a gated plot next to their three-year-old daughter, who died of leukaemia in 1953.

During their 73-year marriage, she and her husband had five other children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Original Article

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