HOUSTON — A spokeswoman said former President George H.W. Bush held the hand of his wife, Barbara Bush, all day and was by her side when she died on Tuesday.
Jean Becker, the chief of staff at Bush’s office in Houston, said in a statement released by Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath that the 41st president “is broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara.”
The former first lady died in Houston. She was 92.
Becker says it’s a “very challenging time” for the 93-year-old Bush, but “he also is stoic and strong, and is being lifted up by his large and supportive family.”
The two were married for 73 years, more than any other couple in presidential history.
Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, which she and the former president regularly attended.
According to a post on the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation website, Barbara Bush will lie in repose from noon to midnight Friday at the church for members of the public wishing to pay respects.
The funeral service Saturday is by invitation only.
Burial will be on the grounds of the Bush library at Texas A&M University in College Station, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
The couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died in 1953 of leukemia, also is buried at the site.