Barbara Bush Death: Pastors Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen Remember Life, Faith of Former First Lady

 ( news@gospelherald.com ) Apr 18, 2018 09:37 AM EDT

Following the death of Barbara Bush, tributes poured in from pastors, political figures, and family members remembering the former first lady’s faith and dedication to her family.

Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, leaving behind her husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush, five children and their spouses, as well as 17 grandchildren. The news of her death comes just days after a Bush family spokesman announced the former first lady was in “failing health” and had decided not to seek any additional medical treatment.

Members of the public are invited to pay their respects Friday, April 20 as Bush lay in repose between 12 p.m. and midnight at St. Martin’s Church in Houston, according to the official funeral announcement by the family. The funeral service is by invite only.

Minutes after her death was announced, public figures and lawmakers from both parties remembered Bush, one of only two women in history to be both the spouse and the mother of an American president.

Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, remembered Bush as a “a class act” and reflected on the longstanding friendship between the Graham and Bush families.

“My deepest condolences and prayers for President George H.W. Bush and the family as they have lost a dear wife, mother, grandmother, and much more,” he wrote. “Former First Lady Barbara Bush was a class act. The Bushes were close friends of my parents and our family. Here’s a photo that is special to us from when they visited the Billy Graham Library and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association a few years ago. I know the family would appreciate all of our prayers during this time.”

Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church, praised the “unwavering faith” of the former first lady.

“Victoria and I, along with our Lakewood family, honor the life and memory of our beloved former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was admired by all of us for her strength, grace, and unwavering faith. We extend our heartfelt condolences to President Bush and the entire Bush family.”

Bush’s granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, shared a series of photos on the Bush family matriarch on Instagram.

“I already miss this FORCE of a woman- the “enforcer” because she was the glue that held our family together,” Bush Hager wrote in the caption. “She taught me to use my voice but also to value the opinions of others. She adored her friends and family; her loyalty was unwavering.”

She continued, “Humor helps, she often said and it does, Gans, but I will miss your laugh terribly. She adored my Gampy, the first man she ever kissed; their love story is so ingrained in the history of our family. Thinking of my Gampy tonight -no doubt missing his beloved desperately. Gans, people stopped me all the time to tell me how much they loved you. I didn’t mind sharing you with them. I love you more than tongue can tell, my Ganny.”

Bush’s son and former president George W. Bush remembered his mother as a “fabulous” First Lady and thanked supporters for their prayers.

“My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was,” he wrote. “Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”

In a written statement released by the White House, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they “join the nation in celebrating the life of Barbara Bush.”

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also issued statements honoring the late Bush matriarch.

248