Farewell ’41

As the nation mourns the passing of George H.W. Bush, we here at GREENWICH magazine dipped into our archives and took a walk down memory lane.

The former president grew up on Grove Lane and attended Greenwich Country Day School before heading off to Andover. He met the woman who would become the love of his life, Barbara Pierce of Rye, at a holiday dance at the Round Hill Club in 1941. On June 12, 1942—his eighteenth birthday—he enlisted in the Navy and became its youngest pilot. Two years later, flying cover for the invasion of Chichi Jima, he was shot down. Safely rescued, he returned to Greenwich on Christmas Eve of 1944. Perhaps realizing the fragility of life, he married Barbara twelve days later at the First Presbyterian Church of Rye. And so their great love story began.

George Bush appeared on the cover of this magazine’s predecessors twice over the years. First on a 1978 cover of the Nutmegger accompanied by the headline “A Greenwich Man in the White House?” And again on the Greenwich Review cover in 1988 when he visited town for a presidential fundraiser. On January 20, 1989, he became our forty-first president.

In a 1997 article, “The Bushes of Greenwich,” by writer Tim Dumas, he told us: “Of course, I have many happy memories of my childhood there—for in Greenwich I spent the first eighteen years of my life. I remember the seasons and I remember the many friendships made in those early days. It was in Greenwich that my life was shaped by two wonderful parents.”

And Greenwich will, of course, always remember you Mr. President.

1981: The Vice President lending a hand to his grandson, George. Credit: Official White House Photo
1994: Barbara and George in Kennebunkport
1982: The Vice President with twin granddaughters Jenna and Barbara Bush. Credit: Official White House photo
1988: In Greenwich with residents Debbie and Russ Reynold. Credit: C. Christopher Semmes
The Bush family attending a U.N. Day speech at the Greenwich Civic Center given by Ambassador George Bush, U.S. Representative to the U.N.: Mr. and Mrs. Prescott Bush Jr., Mr. and Mrs. William Bush, Ambassador and Mrs. George Bush, Senator and Mrs. Prescott Bush Sr. and Mrs. Alexander Ellis. Credit: Cal Hood
1988: Greenwich Selectman Paul Hicks, Vice President and Presidential candidate George Bush, Mike Morano, Greenwich First Selectman John Margenot. Credit: C. Christopher Semmes
1981: Bush family photo. Credit: Official White House Photo
1984: Vice President and Mrs. Bush with son Jeb’s family. Credit: Dave Valdez/White House
1988: Vice President George and Barbara Bush along with Greenwich residents Debbie and Russ Reynolds, who hosted a fundraiser at their home for the then presidential candidate
1988: Vice President George Bush accompanying his mother Dorothy Bush into Christ Church. Credit: Dave Valdez/White House
1984: A sweet moment at a wedding at Christ Church in Greenwich. Credit: White House
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