Culture / Newsy

Barbara Bush Dies in Her Houston Home, Inspiring to the Very End: America’s Grandmother Says Goodbye, Drinks Bourbon in Her Final Day

BY // 04.17.18

America’s Grandmother has left us. Barbara Bush died Tuesday in her Houston home with her family around. Now, George H.W. Bush goes on without his wife of 73 years.

The 92-year-old Barbara Bush showed remarkable grace — and fight — in her final days. She reportedly was drinking bourbon as she joked and spent time with her loved ones. Talk about being an inspiration to the very end.

The former First Lady leaves an immense legacy, one that goes far beyond the years she spent in the White House. In many ways, Barbara Bush became literacy’s greatest champion, turning the cause of getting kids and adults to learn how to read into a crusade that pulled in everyone from J.J. Watt to Laurel D’Antoni (Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s wife and charity partner) to everyday Texans to people around the world. Her efforts helped raise more than $40 million for literacy over the years.

“She’s an incredible woman,” Watt said earlier in the day at the Houston Texans facility. “Her and the entire family have been so kind to me ever since I’ve been here. Working with her with the literacy foundation and then her working on my foundation, I can’t speak enough to how highly I speak of Barbara.

“My thoughts are obviously with them at this time. She’s the best. She can put a smile on your face. She can crack a joke with the best of them even up in her nineties.”

Barbara Bush apparently kept her loved ones smiling in her final days. When she decided not to receive any further medical treatment and spend her time at home surrounded by loved ones, she worried more about those around her rather than herself according to family spokesperson Jim McGrath.

Barbara Bush suffered from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — and her public appearances had become more and more infrequent. COPD can making breathing difficult.

But that never stopped Barbara Bush from making an impact.

“Barbara Bush was a remarkable woman,” former president Bill Clinton tweeted in the wake of her death. “She had grit & grace, brains & beauty. She was fierce & feisty in support of her family & friends, her country & her causes. She showed us what an honest, vibrant, full life looks like.”

For more on Barbara Bush’s great American life, click here.

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