Former president Bush to speak at Mark White memorial service

August 7, 2017 GMT

Former President George W. Bush will be among high-profile speakers at the Wednesday funeral of former Texas Gov. Mark White, who died Saturday.

A memorial service will take place at the Second Baptist Church in Houston at 11 a.m., longtime friend Barry Silverman said Monday.

Bush and Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, will speak at Wednesday’s service, which will be open to the public, Silverman said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers will then escort his body to Austin, he said.

White will lie in state from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda in Austin, Silverman said, and later Thursday, he will be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

White, who served as governor from 1983 to 1987, died in his Houston home last weekend at 77 years old.

As the 43rd governor of Texas, White ushered in education reforms that still impact schools, including limits on elementary class size, “no pass, no play” policy for high school athletes, and the first-ever statewide testing standards.

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Johnson called White a “giant of a statesman” in a statement provided by the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

“Our hearts go out to Governor White’s beloved Linda Gale and all their family,” she said. “We shared their values and loved them as our own family. Mark White was a champion for education for all Texans and put his political career on the line for it. The world is a poorer place with his passing, but our lives have been deeply blessed to have known such a patriot.”