Former president George H.W. Bush spent his final hours on Friday surrounded by his friends and loved ones in his Houston home, and, as a new report noted, uttered his final words in a speakerphone conversation with his son, former president George W. Bush, after the younger Bush called his father to say goodbye.
According to a report from the New York Times, the elder Bush spoke one last time to his son and namesake on Friday night, who was calling from his Dallas home. When George W. Bush was put on the speakerphone, he told his father that he had been a “wonderful dad,” adding that he loved him. This prompted a response from the 41st president of the United States, who replied with what turned out to be his last words.
“I love you, too.”
When he passed away on Friday night at the age of 94, George H.W. Bush was surrounded by family members and friends that included his son Neil Bush and his wife, Maria, their son, Pierce, granddaughter Marshall Bush, and former secretary of state James Baker and his wife, Susan.
Per CNN, Bush had dealt with Parkinson’s disease and other health issues in the years preceding his death and had been hospitalized multiple times following the passing of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, in April. The former president was also preceded in death by his daughter Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953, just two months before her fourth birthday.
Shortly after his father’s death, George W. Bush issued a statement on his website, confirming the elder Bush’s passing and referring to him as 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 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.”
As noted by Town and Country, George W. Bush shared many similarities with his father in terms of background. Both former presidents attended Yale University, briefly served in the military as young men, and spent time in the oil business before entering the world of politics. The younger Bush also released a book in 2014, 41: A Portrait of My Father, which took a closer look at George H.W. Bush’s presidency and the relationship both men had through the years as father and son.
“I knew he would support whatever choice I made,” George W. Bush wrote.
“There was no point in competing with our father—no point in rebelling against him—because he would love us no matter what.”