Former first lady Laura Bush's mother dies in Texas at 99

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, leave St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston after the funeral service for his father, former President George H.W. Bush on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Jenna Welch, the mother of former first lady Laura Bush, has died in Texas. She was 99.

Granddaughter and namesake Jenna Bush Hager said Monday on NBC's "Today" show that Welch, a longtime Midland, Texas, resident, died Friday. The "Today" co-anchor said her grandmother loved nature and "taught us every star in the sky."

Laura Bush in an Instagram post called her mother "a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature." An obituary in the Midland Reporter-Telegram said the family held a funeral Saturday in Midland.

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Born on July 24, 1919, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Welch was raised near El Paso, Texas. She and her husband, Harold Welch, moved to Midland in 1946 after he returned from serving in World War II. Harold Welch died in 1995.