Mother of Former First Lady Laura Bush Dies at Age 99

May 12, 2019 Updated: May 12, 2019

Former first lady Laura Bush’s mother died at age 99 at her Texas home as granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager paid tribute.

Jenna Louise Welch died on May 10 at her home in Midland, Texas, according to the “Today” show.

“Waking up thinking of my precious namesake, Jenna Welch who passed away Friday,” Jenna Bush wrote on Instagram.

Hager added, “How lucky I was to be named after a woman who taught me how to slow down and appreciate every bird, and every plant in West Texas.”

“Her kindness and graciousness were as expansive as the West Texas horizon,” the “Today” show co-host added. “So happy she’s reunited with her great love, our Pa after almost 25-years apart. Thinking of my mama too who lost her little mama right before Mother’s Day.”

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Welch’s husband, Harold, died at age 82 in 1995 after battling cancer and dementia.

Laura Bush posted a photo of her mother on Instagram.

“This Mother’s Day, I’m remembering my mother, who passed away at the age of 99 on Friday morning,” Bush wrote on May 12. “My memories of reading with her and stargazing under the Midland sky are reminders of the passions that she nurtured in me. Our family is grateful for her long and wonderful life. We miss her dearly.”

According to a 2001 CNN report, Welch was a bookkeeper for her husband, who was a real estate developer.

Meanwhile, Bush,  former first lady and wife to former President George W. Bush, wrote that her mother encouraged reading during her childhood.

“I learned [how important reading is] at home from my mother,” she said in a 2003 speech for the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

“When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since,” she continued.

Welch’s death comes a little over a year after Bush family matriarch Barbara Bush died. Several months later, former President George H.W. Bush died.

Jenna Bush Hager also noted in November 2018 that her grandmother “never graduated from college but never stopped learning: she taught me every constellation in the night sky and about beautiful foreign lands she would never get to visit. I loved seeing her today in Midland.”

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