Barbara Bush an advocate for Literacy, gave back to Tyler

Barbara Bush an advocate for literacy, gave back to Tyler
Published: Apr. 18, 2018 at 12:39 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2018 at 10:43 AM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A spokesperson for the family announced on Tuesday night that former First Lady Barbara Bush has died.

She was not just a political figure; she also was a highly-regarded philanthropist. One of Mrs. Bush's passions was being an advocate for literacy.

It's what brought her to Tyler - twice. Her first visit to the Rose City was back in 1997, then again in 2012.

That's when she was the keynote speaker for the "Celebration of Literacy" event for the Literacy Council of Tyler.

"You can see why she's extra special. She doesn't do that very often. And both times, following her visit, public awareness grew and our financial support grew, both times," said Executive Director Nancy Crawford.

Crawford said she was sad to learn of the former first lady's passing Tuesday, saying she was the model for why they do what they do.

"She told people. I can remember this, way back. That when she looked at all the problems the country had, that she felt like, and I believe she's right, that if we solve the literacy problem, we can solve the others. That has to do with incarceration, unemployment, and many other things. She believed they can be solved if we can solve the literacy problem," said Crawford.

We're told Mrs. Bush supported the Literacy Council of Tyler financially and through speaking.

She has helped raise more than $100,000, over 10 years in Tyler.

Attorney General, Ken Paxton, released a statement Wednesday.

"With all of Texas and our nation, I'm deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara Bush. Among her many accomplishments, the former first lady worked tirelessly to promote literacy and was known worldwide for her honor, integrity, sense of humor, and faith. Her strong love for her husband and her family was an encouragement to everyone. Mrs. Bush will be dearly missed, but her legacy will impact generations to come. My deepest sympathy and fervent prayers are with the Bush family as they grieve."  

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