Jenna Hawkins Welch, Mother Of Laura Bush, Dead At 99

Jenna Bush Hager shared a tribute to her late grandmother and namesake, Jenna Hawkins Welch.

Jenna Bush Hager and Jenna Welch walk arm in arm.
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager shared a tribute to her late grandmother and namesake, Jenna Hawkins Welch.

Jenna Hawkins Welch, the mother of former First Lady Laura Bush, has passed away. She died on Friday morning, just a couple of days prior to Mother’s Day. She was 99-years-old. Welch is the namesake of Laura Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager. Hager took to Instagram to share a few words about the woman she was named after, according to USA Today.

Hager explained that her grandmother had a true appreciation for the simpler things in life, including stars and nature. She passed down that appreciation to her when she was little by teaching her about the landscape of Texas, her home state.

“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. She read us poetry and taught us about every constellation in the sky. Her kindness and graciousness were as expansive as the West Texas horizon.”

She included a touching black and white photo that depicted the four generations of women in her family, her, her grandmother Welch, her mother Bush, and her own daughter Mila.

Laura Bush also turned to Instagram to share a tribute to her beloved mother on Mother’s Day.

“This Mother’s Day, I’m remembering my mother, who passed away at the age of 99 on Friday morning. Jenna Hawkins Welch was a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature.”

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It’s been a challenging past year for the Bush family as they have now lost three members of their extended family in a relatively short period of time. Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, passed away in April of 2018. She was 92-years-old. President George H.W. Bush also passed away this past November at 94-years-old.

Nevertheless, it’s also been a time of great joy for 37-year-old Jenna Bush Hager, as she recently announced that she and her husband Henry are expecting a third child. The child will be a little boy and the very first male grandchild of George and Laura Bush. Hager has two daughters, 6-year-old Mila and 3-year-old Poppy.

Hager has plenty on her plate at the moment as she only just recently took over the position of Hoda Kotb’s new sidekick on the fourth hour of the Today Show. After being a regular correspondent for the television program for years, she was the popular choice for Kathie Lee Gifford’s replacement when she retired last month.