The funeral began with the body of the former president brought into Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church by his grandsons.
“George Bush was tempered in word and deed,” said political adviser and longtime friend James Baker.
Baker spoke about how Bush’s strength was his humility.
“He was not considered a skilled speaker but his deeds were quite eloquent.”
The eldest grandson, Texas land commissioner George P. Bush, spoke for all of the grandchildren. He shared stories about growing up with his grandparents and the lesions they learned from them. “He left a single profound legacy ... Service. And the fulfillment of one’s life can not be complete without Service,” said George P. Bush.
There were several light moments during the service.
The members of the Oak Ridge boys, one of the presidents favorite bands, offered this humorous insight. “He (President Bush) fancied himself as a bass ... but he was not,” said the band.
Country music superstar Reba McEntire was also one of the featured singers.
The estimated 1,200 friends and family who attended the service were bused in from second Baptist Church - almost three miles away. Those who spoke to me after coming back had this to say about the ceremony and the President. “It was really beautiful they were favorite hymns of the president that was moving the fact that he chose them,” said Former Federal Judge Ken Starr, who was also once the President of Baylor.
While there were old political allies there were also old political rivals, who considered Bush a friend. “He was very graceful and supportive never held grudges about somebody taking a different point of view then he did, it meant a lot to me and shortly after I was elected mayor he invited me to lunch and he said tell me how I can help,” said Former Houston Mayor and Democrat Bill White.
The crowd even included several current and former pro-athletes like Houston rocket Clyde Drexler. “Great Life, great man,” said Drexler.
From the church, a motorcade took the body of President Bush to a train for his final trip to College Station. Once there he will be buried next to Former First Lady Barbra Bush and their daughter Robin.