TULSA, Okla. -- Those who knew Barbara Bush said she was everything you'd expect her to be, the kind of person who became an instant friend.
"She's very genuine, very easy to get along with, but a person that you could always count on to be a very loyal, dear friend," former mayor Dewey Bartlett said.
Bartlett met the First Lady after she befriended his parents. His father was a US senator when George H.W. Bush led the CIA. Bartlett said with is own parents gone, the loss hits close to home.
"She kind of represented an era. Surely representing a relationship between my parents, Mrs. Bush, and the President. And now they're going away," he said.
Edward Lawson became friends with the Bush family while acting as chairman for Tulsa County, and later becoming the finance chair for Oklahoma. He paid many trips to the White House, and even housed the Bush family while George H.W. acted as Vice President.
"They loved Tulsa because so many of their friends were from here back from the good old days of Midland. So they loved this city," Lawson said.
Lawson said the President and First Lady set an example for love, and it was clear every time he saw the two together.
"They had a lot of give and take back and forth between the two of them. Always in good spirits and good humor. They just cared a lot about each other. Always holding hands," he said.
During the 1990s Barbara Bush also spent time volunteering in Tulsa, including time spent with the housing authority teaching the importance of literacy to children in need.
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