RIP Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush went to high school at Ashley Hall in Charleston, SC. 


"You know sit with your arm around a little kid and read. It not only teaches them to read but it keeps the family strong."

On Tuesday, April 18 while I was watching Netflix in the comfort of my own home, I looked down on my phone to see an urgent alert- “Former first lady Barbara Bush has died at age 92.” Though I knew little about this lady, I felt a connection to her, and was saddened by the news of her death.

In my fifth grade social studies class, each student was given a US president for a research project. I was given George H. W. Bush, husband to former first lady Barbara and father to former president George W. Bush. As I researched the Persian Gulf War and the motives behind the slogan “Read my lips, no new taxes,”,I also became interested in learning more about Barbara Bush when I discovered that she had gone to high school at Ashley Hall in Charleston, SC. 

Barbara was born into a wealthy family in New York City, where she grew up. She studied at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina from 1940 to 1943, where she  enjoyed swimming, tennis, and bike-riding, but most importantly found her love for reading.

She met George Herbert Walker Bush, a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts during a dance over Christmas vacation when she was only 16. The two began dating and eventually married in 1945 while George was on leave during his deployment as a naval officer in World War II.

She fully supported her husband’s career when he eventually moved into politics and became involved in advancing social causes like universal literacy. While serving as the First Lady she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and continued promoting this cause even after leaving the White House

Barbara Bush was known for her dedication to her country, no nonsense personality, and emphasis on honesty and values. She passed away after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her funeral was held at at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Former presidents and first ladies including Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as former first daughter Chelsea Clinton were all in attendance.

Barbara’s many pearls of wisdom include:

“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

“Believe in something larger than yourself… get involved in the big ideas of your time.”

“You just don’t luck into things as much as you’d like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities. “