MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Jenna Welch, the mother of former first lady Laura Bush, has died in Texas. She was 99.
Granddaughter and namesake Jenna Bush Hager said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show that Welch, a longtime Midland, Texas, resident, died Friday. The “Today” co-anchor said her grandmother loved nature and “taught us every star in the sky.”
Laura Bush in an Instagram post called her mother “a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature.” An obituary in the Midland Reporter-Telegram said the family held a funeral Saturday in Midland.
Born on July 24, 1919, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Welch was raised near El Paso, Texas. She and her husband, Harold Welch, moved to Midland in 1946 after he returned from serving in World War II. Harold Welch died in 1995.
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Waking up thinking of my precious namesake, Jenna Welch who passed away Friday. 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. So happy she’s reunited with her great love, our Pa after almost 25-years apart. Thinking of my mama too who lost her little mama right before Mother’s Day.