Barbara Bush's legacy of service in Houston & the world

"There are great people working to solve the problem, so I'm thrilled to be here," said former First Lady Barbara Bush in late 2016 when she was honored by Children At Risk. She was 91 years old at the time and was as vital as she had been all throughout her life.

Barbara Bush was born in 1925 in Rye, New York.

The former Barbara Pierce married George Herbert Walker Bush in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II when she was twenty years old.

They traveled to Texas where the oil business dominated, first in Midland-Odessa, later to the Houston area where George found his love for politics. He was elected to Congress in 1966.

Over the following decades, Mr. and Mrs. Bush would travel the world representing the U.S. before turning their sights to The White House, first as the Vice President and Second Lady during the Ronald Reagan administration, then the 1988 Presidential election.

"One out of six Americans, literally, cannot read above the fifth grade level -- that's terrible!," said Barbara when she made literacy her focal point while serving as First Lady of the United States. She would later tackle homelessness and AIDS awareness while promoting elder care and encouraging volunteerism at schools.

Barbara was also a fierce protector and advocate for her family, certainly during the presidency of her son, George W. Bush, and most recently, helping her son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, with his presidential campaign in 2016. Donald Trump would end up winning the Republican nomination that year and was later elected President.

All along, Barbara Bush was seen as an invaluable asset with a grandmotherly persona that could belie a forthright outspokenness.

In retirement, former President George H.W. and Barbara Bush made Houston their home, often to the adulation of their fans whether it was sneaking a smooch on the Houston Texans kiss cam at NRG Stadium to tossing out the first pitch for the Houston Astros after President Bush broke his neck in 2015. Mrs. Bush often knew just the right words to offer.

In the end, President and Mrs. Bush were some of the greatest cheerleaders for the ones they loved and cared for, leaving a lasting memory of service that spanned generations.