Private funeral service for Barbara Bush on Saturday

Melania Trump at Barbara Bush's funeral.				CREDIT Rex Shutterstock

She had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, and decided against seeking additional medical help earlier this week after a series of hospitalizations.

Barbara and George Bush were married longer than any other presidential couple when she died Tuesday at their home in Houston.

"Jeb Bush joked that his mother called her style of raising him and his siblings "'a benevolent dictatorship' - but honestly, it wasn't always benevolent".

"Barbara Bush was the first lady of the greatest generation", Meacham said during his eulogy.

In lieu of flowers, the Bush family has suggested that donations be made to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which works to boost literacy among parents and children.

On Saturday, family members also shared the love story of the former president and former first lady, who met when she was 16 and he was 17.

The speakers also brought a sense of humor to the celebration of Bush's life. Bush was first lady during her husband's presidency, from 1989 to 1993, and also served as second lady from 1981 to 1989.

"I think dad got sick on goal so he could be with her", said Jeb. By the way, she was lovely until the day she died.

The late former first lady dedicated many years of her life to promoting literacy, which she saw as a gateway to opportunities and a future.

Bush made history as one of just two women to be wife and mother to USA presidents.

Trump dictated the flags increased to half-staff this week in memory of Bush.

In a statement released on Saturday, Trump said: "Today the world paid tribute to a woman of indisputable character and grace".

President Donald Trump did not attend to avoid security disruptions and "out of respect for the Bush family and friends attending the service", according to the White House.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family", Trump wrote on Twitter, saying he planned to watch the funeral ceremony. Bush at the vice president's residence for a women's luncheon back in 1985. President Obama failed to attend Betty Ford's funeral in 2011 or even Nancy Reagan's funeral in 2016. The 93-year-old George H.W. Bush, seated in a wheelchair in front of the casket, greeted mourners in turn with a handshake. Then-first lady Hillary Clinton attended the burial of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994. His granddaughters are providing readings during the service and his grandsons are serving as pallbearers. Bush Sr. followed closely behind in a wheelchair that was pushed by his son.

After the service, the Bush family motorcade traveled through Houston's Memorial Park en route to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center and Museum in College Station for a private burial.

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