Closings and delays

Final journey: Texas bids George W. Bush farewell with country music, funeral train

HOUSTON — George H.W. Bush, who shaped history as 41st president and patriarch of a family that occupied the White House for a dozen years, is going to his final rest Thursday in Texas.

Family and friends gathered at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston to remember the former president.

The only member of the Bush dynasty still in public office said he and former President George H.W. Bush's 16 other grandchildren grew up in awe of the man they knew as "gampy."

George P. Bush told mourners Thursday that the former president would challenge his grandkids to games like "the first to sleep award." The line drew laughs at the church where the Bush family worshipped.

The 42-year-old George P. Bush holds the office of Texas land commissioner. He joined former Secretary of State James Baker in eulogizing the 41st president, who died last week at age 94.

George P. Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Some of George H.W. Bush's other grandchildren gave readings from the Bible.

Those reading passages included Barbara Pierce Bush, a daughter of George W. Bush, and Noelle Lucila Bush, daughter of Jeb Bush.

Former Secretary of State James Baker remembered his longtime friend George H.W. Bush as having "had the courage of a warrior but the greater courage of a peacemaker" during an emotional eulogy at Bush's funeral.

Baker began the eulogy Thursday with an apology. Using the nickname "Jefe," which is Spanish for "boss," Baker said he was going to brag about Bush, even though the former president hated boasting.

He called Bush the "best one-term president" in the nation's history. He also praised Bush's grace after the fall of the Berlin Wall, saying that Bush understood that humility toward a fallen adversary "is the very best path."

Performing were some of Bush's favorite country music stars including The Oak Ridge Boys doing "Amazing Grace" and Reba McEntire offering "The Lord's Prayer."

After the funeral, a hearse will carry the 41st president's casket from St. Martin's to a Union Pacific facility north of Houston near the international airport named for him. There, his casket will be placed on a special train that will travel to his presidential library in College Station, where he will be buried.

Bush died last week at age 94.

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