Remembering Barbara Bush: thoughts and condolences pour in on passing of former First Lady

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29: Former first lady Barbara Bush looks on before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Barbara Bush, the matriarch of a Republican political dynasty and a first lady who elevated the cause of literacy, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

Only the second woman in American history to have had a husband and a son elected President (Abigail Adams was the first), Bush was seen as a plainspoken public figure who was instantly recognizable with her signature white hair and pearl necklaces and earrings.

She became a major political figure as her husband, George H.W. Bush, rose to become vice president and president. After they left the White House, she was a potent spokeswoman for two of her sons — George W. and Jeb — as they campaigned for office.

Upon news of her death, accolades and rememberances of Barbara Bush came from all over.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump released this statement:

Former President and Mrs. Obama:

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary released this statement:

Former President Jimmy Carter paid tribute to Barbara Bush’s “warmth, generosity and keen wit” following the former first lady’s death.

Carter says Bush was “the matriarch of a family dedicated to serving.” In a statement, he says that through Bush’s “work to promote literacy as a value in every American home, countless families now have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.”

Carter says he and former first lady Rosalynn Carter are saddened by her death and they’ll miss her.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

Ohio Governor John Kasich:

Ohio Senator Rob Portman said this:

“There is a reason Barbara Bush was one of the most popular people in America. She was dignified, straightforward, funny, and always well intentioned. She spoke her mind freely, and when she did most of us nodded our heads in agreement. One of only two women in history who was both First Lady and the mother of a president, she has consistently used her role and influence in positive ways. She was a champion of empowering people through literacy and an eloquent voice for bipartisanship and national unity. She was devoted to her family, and her unconditional love for her children and her true partnership with George H.W. Bush in service to the country was an inspiration.

“Jane and I were blessed to get to know Barbara Bush when I worked for President George H.W. Bush in the White House and she has been a friend ever since. In my first congressional campaign in 1993, she came to Cincinnati and cut a radio ad about me and Jane that was key to my winning that first election. She was never hesitant to offer encouragement and candid advice. Jane and I, along with the rest of the country, will miss her, and we send our condolences to the entire Bush family.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine:

“Fran and I were great admirers of Mrs. Bush, and we were very fortunate to have her as a guest at our Cedarville home in May of 1992 for a fundraising event. It was a beautiful day, and we have a treasured picture from that day of her and our family where Mrs. Bush is holding our youngest daughter, Anna, who was only three-weeks-old.

“Barbara Bush also graciously shared her recipe for Oatmeal Lace Cookies with Fran after she had them at a White House tea. Fran included Mrs. Bush’s recipe in the eighth edition of her DeWine Family Favorites cookbook.

“Today America has lost a treasured former First Lady. Fran and I join our fellow Ohioans and Americans in mourning the loss of a remarkable person – First Lady Barbara Bush.”

More on Barbara Bush, here.