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Laura Bush Mourns the Death of Her Mother Jenna Who Died at Age 99: ‘We Miss Her Dearly’

Jenna Bush Hager, Jenna Hawkins Welch Dies, Laura Bush
Jenna Bush Hager, Jenna Hawkins Welch, Laura Bush Courtesy of Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram

Laura Bush’s mother, Jenna Hawkins Welch, has died. She was 99.

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The former first lady, 72, shared the news in a heartbreaking Instagram post on Sunday, May 12.

“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,” Bush wrote alongside a picture of Welch smiling. “My memories of reading with her and stargazing under the Midland sky are reminders of the passions that she nurtured in me. Our family is grateful for her long and wonderful life. We miss her dearly.”

Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager — who was named after her late grandmother — also posted a sweet tribute in her honor.

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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,” the Today show cohost captioned a series of snaps. “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.”

Hager added with a nod to her grandfather, Harold Welch, who died in April 1995: “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.”

Jenna Bush (R), daughter of US President George W. Bush, walks with her grandmother Jenna Welch December 21, 2007 at The White House in Washington, DC. YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

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According to an obituary in Sunday’s Midland Reporter-Telegram, “Jenna Welch engaged in a variety of civic activities, including as a Girl Scout troop leader, a member of the Boone Bible Class and a Sunday school teacher at the First United Methodist Church of Midland, and a member of the Midland Naturalist Society, ‘the Mid-Nats.’”

She is survived by Laura, her son-in-law, former President George W. Bush, two granddaughters Barbara Bush (her husband, Craig Coyne), Jenna Hager (her husband, Henry Hager) and two great-granddaughters.

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