COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The choir sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" to begin the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush as more than 1,000 people gathered in west Houston to remember the woman known as “America’s grandmother.”
Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home, surrounded by her family. She was 92.
Among the guests attending the invitation-only funeral at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church were first lady Melania Trump, former presidents, former vice presidents and former prime ministers.
The Bush family, including former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, took their seats just before the service began.
One-by-one, her grandchildren read from Proverbs 31:10-31, a passage known as “The Virtuous Woman.” The passage describes a strong, fearless, hardworking woman who does what is needed to provide for her family and faith.
The former first lady was eulogized by historian and author Jon Meacham, her friend and confidant Susan Baker and her son Jeb Bush.
After a reading from “Romeo and Juliet” by Bush’s daughter, Dorothy, the service ended with the singing of “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” a favorite of the former first lady and a fitting way to remember her, according to Rev. Russell Levenson Jr., who delivered the homily.
Following the funeral service, Bush's grandchildren helped load her casket into a waiting hearse. The Bush family then traveled by motorcade to the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station.
The procession traveled through Memorial Park before proceeding north to College Station. Crowds gathered and waved American flags as the motorcade came through the park.
"To me, to be able to be out here and just see her pass by and be this close is just, just awesome," said Tonia Ellison, who was at Memorial Park.
"I'm humbled that I get to see Barbara Bush go by, and Bush 41," said Kerry Walsh, as he held an American flag. "(He has) always been one of my heroes. What a guy. The classiest guy that I know that's been in the White House. I go back to the Eisenhower days."
Members of the Texas A&M University's Corps of Cadets lined the street leading up to the presidential library as the motorcade passed
A private interment ceremony was planned at the family's cemetery in the woods behind the library.