Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away earlier this week at the age of 92.

Over the course of her career, Barbara was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and literary education; a formidable political advisor; and a dedicated wife and mother to 6 children and 17 grandchildren.

Barbara’s romance with George H. W. Bush is one for the history books. She first met the handsome young military man at a school dance when she was 16 years old. At the time, George was the youngster fighter pilot in the Navy. Despite WWII interrupting their relationship, the two got married in 1945.

The Bushes then gave birth to six children – one of whom died of leukemia, which Barbara later credited as the reason her red hair turned white.

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She remained a devoted wife to George throughout his 30-year career in politics. Before becoming Ronald Reagan’s vice president for two terms and going on to win the presidential election in 1988, George was a US representative for Texas, UN ambassador, Republican Party chairman, ambassador to China, and director of the CIA.

Then, despite her ongoing health problems, Barbara lobbied for her two sons, Jeb and George W. Bush, during their own presidential campaigns.

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In addition to being diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 1988, she also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure – and still, she and George actively spent their time raising money for charity and staying busy with the public.

She eventually declined treatment for her illnesses which led to her passing at the Bush home in Austin, Texas. According to a statement from the family office, George was holding her hand the entire time – much like how they reportedly held hands every night of their 72-year marriage before going to bed.

(WATCH the video tribute below)

Pass On The Touching Tribute To Your Friends: Click To SharePhoto by CBS News