"Texans will say goodbye to George H.W. Bush in Houston and College Station today" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
George Herbert Walker Bush will be laid to rest Thursday at his presidential library and museum in College Station next to his wife and former first lady, Barbara, and his daughter Robin.
Wrapping up a four-day national mourning period, friends and family of the 41st president will gather Thursday morning at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston for a private funeral service.
The former president’s casket will then travel by motorcade to a Union Pacific Railroad facility in Spring, where it will be transported via a special train — Locomotive 4141, coated in shades of blue to match those covering Air Force One — to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station. He will be buried there next to his wife Barbara, who died in April, and his daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953 at age 3.
The Texas giant, known for his kindness and ability to compromise, found a home at Texas A&M in the 1990s when he selected the school to house his library and the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
A regular on campus, he would often fish in the lake behind the school, play horseshoes with students and visitors, work out in the recreational center and drop in on classes, according to the school’s website.
Although he was born and raised on the East Coast, he will be remembered as a Texan, moving to the state to work in the oil and gas industry after World War II and first dipping his toes into Texas politics in 1964 as chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, before moving on to national politics. During that time, he redefined what it meant to be a Texan, according to Nancy Beck Young, a history professor at the University of Houston.
“We have this myth of what a Texan is, and often it revolves around wearing cowboy boots and having some kind of rural ranch and maybe being multi-generational, counting your Texas ancestry back four, five or six generations,” Young said. “Certainly there is some truth to that, but the Texas that we live in today is modern, urban, global and wealthy, and those characteristics devolve from people like George H.W. Bush.”
Before Bush’s casket returned to Texas from the nation’s capital on Wednesday, the former president’s body lay in state at the U.S. Capitol. There was a funeral service Wednesday morning at the Washington National Cathedral, where his son, former president George W. Bush, and others delivered moving tributes.
Disclosure: Texas A&M University and the University of Houston have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.