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Remembering Barbara Bush and her connections to Butler County

Former first lady Barbara Bush had strong ties to Butler County, including a 2000 campaign stop at Lakota East High School for her son, George W. Bush.

The former first lady of George H.W. Bush died Tuesday, according to a statement made by the office of George H.W. Bush. She was the second woman in U.S. history to be a first lady and mother of a president. Barbara Bush was 92.

Her parents, Marvin Pierce and Pauline Robinson, met at Miami University in Oxford.

MORE: Barbara Bush funeral set to begin Friday in Houston

Marvin was a 1916 graduate of Miami University. He was a standout athlete nicknamed Monk who played basketball, football, baseball and tennis. He was inducted into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972.

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In her memoir, Bush wrote about her father saying “Daddy was really bright and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, while at the same time waiting tables and tending furnaces.”

“Miami is where Daddy fell in love with Mother who was studying to be a teacher,” she wrote in the memoir.

Barbara’s brother, Scott Pierce also attended Miami University. 

In 2000, Barbara joined several Butler County politicians at Lakota East High School in Liberty Twp. to campaign for her son’s presidential run.

MORE: Barbara Bush's roots run deep in Oxford, Dayton

In front of an estimated crowd of 4,000 GOP supporters, Barbara told the crowd that George W. Bush’s opponent, then-Vice President Al Gore, had “very poor manners during the debates. Plus, he has a huge tendency to exaggerate the truth,” according to a Nov. 6, 2000 article in the Journal-News.

Barbara Bush with former State Sen. Barry Levey in Middletown in 1988, just before Election Day.

During that campaign stop, Barbara, 75 years old at the time, addressed her son making potential Social Security cuts, by saying: “Do you really think this senior citizen with white hair would let him wreck Social Security?”

Then-U.S. Rep. John Boehner agreed with Barbara’s ringing endorsement of her son for president.

“I know George W. Bush, and he is a great and honorable person,” Boehner told the Journal-News at the event. “He’s that way because he had great and wonderful parents.”

Barbara Bush visits Middletown just before the 1988 election.

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