RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Former First Lady Barbara Bush will be laid to rest this weekend in Texas.
She will be buried at a gravesite at her husband’s presidential library, a fitting resting place for a woman who worked so hard to promote literacy.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, it’s a passion that bloomed during her childhood in Westchester County.
The Rye Free Reading Room played an important chapter in the life of Barbara Pierce Bush. In her memoir, she writes of spending long hours there as a child.
“Obviously, we’re thrilled that she had fond memories of the Rye Free Reading Room and being connected with the work that we do and her passion for literacy,” Rye Library Director Chris Shoemaker told Aiello.
In 2003, Bush helped raise $4 million to expand the library’s children’s section.
Librarian Hoda Ghobriel met the former first lady when she visited 15 years ago.
“Very good memory. She was so, so good. I love her so much,” she said.
Residents believe 2003 was also the last time Bush stopped by her childhood home on Onondaga Street.
Photos: Barbara Bush Through The Years
Longtime resident Betsy Dineen said walking by, she always thinks of the girl she knew as Barbara Pierce.
“She was just a very, very lovely, friendly woman,” she said.
Many sites in Rye have ties to the former first lady.
George and Barbara were married at the Presbyterian church in 1945, with the reception at the nearby Apawamis Club. The local paper noted the groom was serving in World War II.
“Then she went with him to his base. And from that point on, they always moved,” said Sheri Jordan, of the Rye Historical Society. “Obviously there’s pride that somebody from Rye went on to become the first lady.”
In her memoir, Bush describes her time in Rye with warmth and affection – exactly how Rye holds Barbara Pierce Bush in its collective memory.