HOUSTON -- Everyday Americans on Friday got the chance to say goodbye to former first lady Barbara Bush.

  • Barbara Bush lay in repose in Houston
  • Thousands of mourners from across the country attended
  • Bush will be laid to rest Saturday morning

Bush lay in repose at Houston’s St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Friday.

Mourner Herta Strobel made sure she wore her pearls Friday.

“I started to wear blue, but it doesn’t go well with black, so I thought, well, Barbara wouldn’t mind,” Strobel said.

Strobel said she felt a certain kinship with the former first lady.

“I’m a trained literacy tutor,” she said.

Strobel said she will always feel grateful for Bush’s commitment to teaching others how to read.

“It is such a wonderful, uplifting gift to give anyone,” she said.

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People came from across the country to pay their respects. One family Spectrum News spoke with came from Seattle.

“We looked up to her for so many years, for so many decades,” mourner Tracy Tran said.

Some said Bush was the last of a certain kind of first lady.

“Barbara Bush was the first lady of the entire country,” said Mark Jones, Rice University political science professor. 

Bush gained popularity for speaking her mind, even if it went against the grain of her political party.

“Since her time every one of our first ladies, either due to things they’ve done or due to the current world we live in, which is much more polarized, have been seen as Democratic first ladies or Republican first ladies,” Jones said.

Strobel had a message for the Bush family.

“I’ll be praying for the family,” she said. “She has been such an inspiration in anyone’s life.”

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Funeral services for Bush are set for 11 a.m. Saturday. Following the funeral, she will be taken to College Station, where she will be laid to rest on the grounds of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Barbara Bush Funeral Procession Map

Barbara Bush procession map