Former president George HW Bush's last words were to his son, he said: 'I love you, too'

According to James A. Baker III, Bush’s friend and former chief of staff and secretary of state, Bush senior was surrounded by his family members and friends before his death.


                            Former president George HW Bush's last words were to his son, he said: 'I love you, too'

Former President George HW Bush, even in his final moments, was filled with love as his last words of farewell to his son, former President George W Bush,indicate. Bush senior reportedly said: "I love you too," to his son before passing away on November 30. According to an interview with James A. Baker III, Bush’s friend and former chief of staff and secretary of state,  Bush senior was surrounded by his family members and a few friends, shortly before his death at his Houston home. His son, George W Bush, however, wasn't with him at the time and was put on speaker phone to share one last moment with his father, the New York Times reported.

Former United States Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush speak to the crowd before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Former United States Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush speak to the crowd before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Bush junior reportedly told his father what a "wonderful" dad he had been and he loved him dearly, to which the late former president told his son — in what would be his final words — "I love you, too." 

“I can’t even hardly talk about it without welling up. It was as gentle a passing as I think you could ever expect anyone to have. And he was ready," Baker told The Times. Reports state that along with Baker, his wife Susan and some other members of the Bush family, including son Neil Bush, as well as his wife Maria and their son Pierce were with Bush senior during his final moments. His granddaughter Marshall Bush was also there at the family home, as were the former president’s former chief of staff Jean Becker and the Rev. Dr. Russell Jones Levenson Jr.

Former Presidents George W. Bush (L) and George H.W. Bush attend a game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas.
Former Presidents George W. Bush (L) and George H.W. Bush attend a game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

Bush reportedly told his friends that he wasn't ready to pass on yet and that he wanted to make it back to the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Main for one last summer. Bush senior passed away nearly eight months after his wife of 73 years Barbara Bush died in April. He was reportedly hospitalized within 24 hours of his wife's funeral, but he made it back to Maine for the summer despite the grief. However, reports state that exactly a week after that he was admitted again to the hospital for fatigue and low blood pressure. After his return to Houston this fall, "things sort of went downhill from there," Baker reportedly told The Times. “Everybody thought this is going to be a great day and he’s back and he’s bounced back again,” Baker remarked.

Baker had visited the former president about 10 days before his passing and had found him sitting in the library of his Houston house. They had a drink. “Jefe,” Baker said, using his Spanish nickname, “Chief,” for Bush senior. “You want to live to be 100?”

“Yes, I do,” Bush answered, “but I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Logan Davidson, from Monaca Pennsylvania, left, and Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Airman Recruit Gabriel Gonzalez, from Los Angeles, conduct morning colors on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on December 1, 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia. The flag was flown at half-mast to honor the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, the ships namesake, who passed away Nov 30, 2018. The ship is in port in Norfolk, Virginia, conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness.
In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Logan Davidson, from Monaca Pennsylvania, left, and Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) Airman Recruit Gabriel Gonzalez, from Los Angeles, conduct morning colors on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on December 1, 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia. The flag was flown at half-mast to honor the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, the ships namesake, who passed away Nov 30, 2018. The ship is in port in Norfolk, Virginia, conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness.

George W. Bush, shortly after his father's death, shared a picture of his late father and mother, captioning it: "Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for."

"The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for the 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens," he added.