Remembering Barbara Bush: Ties to Connecticut

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Former first lady Barbara Bush had close ties to western Connecticut, and those in the area who knew her are paying their respects.

A family spokesman announced Tuesday that Bush died at the age of 92.

Bush met CEOs, celebrities and heads of state. And in 1986, she met a little girl from the Rogers School in Stamford. That girl, Cyndi Hill, is now 40 and lives in Stratford. When Hill was 8, she designed a literacy poster that won a national contest. The prize was a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet Bush and appear with her on national television.

"We were on 'Good Morning America,' and then we had a reception, I believe, on the White House lawn...we let balloons go," Hill recalls.

Bush also had ties to the Stamford-based nonprofit Americares. The group's president awarded Bush and her husband a Humanitarian Spirit Award last year. Mrs. Bush even went on relief missions.

"She was recounting some of her experiences flying in these cargo planes, taking relief aid to a place like Ethiopia," says Americares President and CEO Michael Nyenhuis.

The former first lady spoke about her work during a 2003 visit to Connecticut: "We have felt so privileged to be part of this team and to play a tiny role in bringing medicine and comfort and relief to those people who need it the most."

Bush was also active in Connecticut politics. She campaigned in 2006 for former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays.

Former President George H.W. Bush actually met his wife in western Connecticut, at a 1941 boarding school dance in Greenwich. Mrs. Bush reportedly died while holding his hand.

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