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Barbara Bush was 'spiritually ready to leave this life for the next', personal pastor says

by Eno Adeogun

Her personal pastor and long-time friend, Russell J. Levenson Jr. told The Houston Chronicle the champion of literacy spent the final hours of her life surrounded by family and lifted up by prayer.

Levenson said he was asked by Neil Bush - one of Mrs Bush's six children - to offer a few words before he knelt with the family members, who held hands and recited the traditional Episcopal "prayers at the time of dying".

He added that it was a "beautiful, peaceful, gentle death".

Mrs Bush's husband and former President George H.W. Bush asked Levenson to pray one more time with the couple when she died in their west Houston home.

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The two went to her bedside and "gave thanks again for her remarkable life."

Levenson, who is the senior pastor and rector of St Martin's Episcopal Church, said he reminded Mr Bush that "she is more alive than she has ever been."

The pastor said in the last few days of Mrs Bush's life she talked about reuniting with those she had lost, including her parents and daughter who died when she was only three-years-old.

More than 1,500 people, including first lady Melania Trump, are due to attend Mrs Bush's funeral at St Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday morning.

She will be buried at the family plot by her husband's library in College Station.

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