MIDLAND COUNTY --
The nation is mourning the loss of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.
Meanwhile, Midland is remembering the former president’s early days in West Texas.
Before George H.W. Bush lead the U.S., he was a churchgoing man raising his family in Midland.
While that was many years ago, a piece of that West Texas history is still treasured by Susie Hitchcock-Hall, a fan of the former president.
In her candy shop, she has the pew the Bush family worshipped on every week for nearly a decade at Midland’s First Presbyterian Church.
“They all worshipped there at first Presbyterian, which is wonderful,” Hitchcock-Hall said. “You know, it’s a legacy.”
For George Bush Senior, that legacy was defined by not only by his faith but his service to the religious community.
Hitchcock said Bush served as a deacon, elder and Sunday school teacher throughout his time in Midland.
“They made a contribution of their time and energy,” she said. “All the time he was here, he was always doing community things because that’s what makes a community strong—the people that volunteer and work.”
Hitchcock-Hall said preserving the pew brings pride to the church and shows them that losing the legendary president means losing part of their family.
“It hurts. It hurts your feelings,” she said. “Cause you know with his age and all but it does have an effect because he’s been part of our community and the family for so many years.”