Remembering Former First Lady Barbra Bush
By Mary Kate Wirfel
On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at age 92, Former First Lady Barbra Bush passed away surrounded by family in her Houston home. The day before her passing, she asked to stop her medical treatments and rest comfortably at home for her final days. She was the wife of the 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush, and mother to the 43rd President, her eldest son George Walker Bush .
Born on June 8, 1925 Barbra (Pierce) Bush grew up in New York City with three siblings. She first met her husband George H. W. Bush at a party at age 16. The couple were engaged a year and a half later and married on June 6, 1945. The couple had six children together: sons George, Jeb, Neal, and Marven and two daughters, Robin and Dorothy. Sadly, Robin died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of three.
Barbara stood by her husband’s side for his thirty-year political run. During that time, she rose to be a popular public figure with wearing her signature white pearls. Although Barbara had different ideas than first ladies like Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton, she still fought for woman’s rights. Barbara even said that “abortion should not be politicized.” Some of her views clashed with the Republican Party, but she stuck with her beliefs. Bush even held a baby who was diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS in front of the press to fight the sigma.
Barbara fought to increase literacy and promote the subject every way she could. Bush thought that literacy would help society improve. Society would become a better place if people knew how to read and write. Shortly after her husband’s inauguration, the Barbra Bush foundation was founded. The foundation raised over $110 million dollars to help expand and advance literacy programs in each state. Barbara remained as head of the foundation until 2012. Her daughter Dorothy then took over and continued to raise money to help children of all ages learn to read and write. Barbara always loved to read to children; she herself even wrote several books including Millie’s Book, dedicated to her beloved Springer Spaniel Millie. This pup even had a litter of puppies in the white house.
Through all the tragedies and triumphs, Barbra Bush will remain one of America’s biggest political icons. She will be buried by her daughter Robin’s side. Barbra Bush will be missed by all.