Family News

Brynlee Harper Smith
            I am so pleased to report an addition to our family!!! Brynlee Harper Smith joined our family September 4, 2019. She is the daughter of Nathan and Jessica Smith. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. and came in at 19 3/4". Mom, Dad, and Brynlee are all doing well. Reported by Grandpa David Smith! Congratulations and welcome!!!

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Florence L. Kelce
1922 - 2016

            Word was received September 10, 2019 of the passing of my grandmother, Florence Kelce today. She was born April 10, 1922 in Corning, New York and passed September 10, 2019 in her sleep at a nursing home in California. She is the daughter of Frank Adelbert "Hank" Taylor (1896 - 1982) and Hilma Matilda Carlson (1889 - 1974).
            She first married Peter Charles Bobrik, Jr. January 11, 1941 at St. Patrick's Church, Corning, New York who predeceased her on September 2, 1957. She married for the second time, Robert Anthony "Tony" Keller (1929 - 2014) June 6, 1959 in Corning, New York which ended in divorce. And lastly she married Gordon B. "Bud" Kelce (1931 - 1984) February 14, 1961 in Baltimore, Maryland which ended in divorce. She was also preceded in death by her parents; a sister Ruth T. Osterhoudt (1918 - 2011); a brother Theodore Orrin "Teddy" Taylor (1927); a half brother Archie William Purvis (1906 - 1967) and half sister, Grace Mary Purvis (1908 - 1923); a daughter, Sandra L Lehman (1941 - 2016); two daughters-in-law Mary Josephine "Mary Jo" Bobrick (1940 - 2005) and Sandra L. Bobrick (1957 - 1994); a grandson Brian M. Coleman (1981 - 1998) and a granddaughter Trisha Ann Diaz (1965 - 2019).
            She is survived by a son Richard Bobrick; a daughter Janet (Thomas) Weiman; a son Thomas Bobrick and daughter Melinda (Mikel) Schumacher.
            Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

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Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - August 28, 2019
Barbara Miller
1928 - 2019

            Barbara J. Miller, age 90 of Beaver Dams, passed away on Monday, August 26, 2019 at Guthrie Corning Hospital. She was born on October 22, 1928 in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Otto and Rachael A. (Lent) Neff. She married George Thomas Miller on December 5, 1947. He predeceased her on May 15, 2015.
            Barbara enjoyed spending time with her family. sewing, flowers, gardening, and watching birds. She also taught Sunday School.
            She is survived by her children and their spouses, Donald and Wanda Miller, Cheryl and Joseph Dean, George Miller Jr and Barbara Brooks, Steven and Carolyn Miller, and Karen and Gerald Gardiner, siblings and their spouses, Harry and Myrtie Neff, Arlene and Larry Gerwig, and Sylvia Ober, brother-in-law, Donald Miller, sisters-in-law, Suzanne Miller and Betty Miller, 18 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Barbara was predeceased by a sister, Virginia Williams and grandchildren, Stacey Gardiner and Robert Miller.
            Family and friends are invited to call at Phillips Funeral Home & Cremation Service 17 W. Pulteney Street, Corning, on Friday, August 30, 2019 from 12:00 pm (Noon) to 2:00 pm. It was Barbara's wish that there be no formal funeral service. Burial will follow at Beaver Dams Cemetery.
            In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make donations to the Beaver Dams Volunteer Fire Department, 1165 County Road 19, Beaver Dams, NY 14812.
To leave kind words or to share a memory, please visit

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Taken from:
Obituary - "Los Angeles Times" Los Angeles, CA - August 16, 2019
Peter Fonda, the 'Easy Rider' star and counterculture icon, has died at 79
            Peter Fonda, son of one of the great stars of the classic Hollywood era and a key player in the cinematic revolution that was "Easy Rider," died Friday at his home in Los Angeles at age 79. The cause of death was given as respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
            Son of Henry Fonda, brother to Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda truly made a name for himself with "Easy Rider," the 1969 countercultural road trip saga, which he starred in, co-wrote and produced. The film, directed by Dennis Hopper, captured the uneasy moment of late '60s America and is widely seen to have helped usher in a new era for Hollywood.
            "Easy Rider" became the fourth highest-grossing movie of 1969 at the U.S. box office and was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.
            It also earned Fonda his first of two Academy Award nominations, for the film's original screenplay co-written with Hopper and Terry Southern. His second came in the lead actor category for the 1997 independent film "Ulee's Gold."
            Although, unlike his father and sister, Fonda never took home an Oscar, he did win two Golden Globes — for his supporting performance opposite Helen Mirren in the 1999 television film "The Passion of Ayn Rand" and for "Ulee's Gold." He received three additional nominations over the years.
            In a statement on Friday, Jane Fonda said, "I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing."
            A separate statement from his family read, "In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. … And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom."
            Fonda was married three times, first to Susan Brewer, the second to Rebecca Crockett and the third to Margaret DeVogelaere. He had two children, Bridget and Justin, with Brewer.
            Born in New York City on Feb. 23, 1940, Fonda made his film debut in 1963's "Tammy and the Doctor." He would later star in Roger Corman's 1966 biker movie "The Wild Angels" before also appearing in Corman's drug-themed 1967 movie "The Trip."
            The success of "Easy Rider" was cataclysmic, both at the box office and as a cultural force. As Charles Champlin wrote in The Times in December 1969, "It is the mark of an extraordinary movie that discussion about it will not die. 'Easy Rider,' more than any other movie this year, is one which people can't let alone, whether they like it or (even more) whether they don't."
            Fonda would go on to direct a few films himself, beginning with the 1971 western "The Hired Hand." His acting roles in the 1970s included films such as 1974's "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry," 1975's "Race With the Devil" and 1977's "Outlaw Blues."
            While Fonda was a steady presence onscreen, few of his films broke through with critics or audiences. But he experienced a notable career resurgence with "Ulee's Gold," directed by Victor Nuńez.
            Playing a Vietnam-veteran-turned-beekeeper, Fonda delivered a performance of quiet power. As Times critic Kenneth Turan wrote in June 1997, "'Ulee's' is built around a compelling performance by Peter Fonda that unmistakably echoes the work of his father, Henry, while serving as the capstone of the son's long career as well."
            Acknowledging the large shadow his father had over his life, Fonda published an autobiography in 1998, titled, "Don't Tell Dad: A Memoir." He continued to act right until the end of his life, appearing in such films as 1999's "The Limey," 2007's "3:10 to Yuma," 2018's "Boundaries" and many more.
            Yet there was one film that largely continued to shape his career and public persona. In a 2018 interview with The Times, Fonda reflected on the legacy of "Easy Rider."
            "That audience was not something that the establishment knew anything about or how to reach," he said. "They thought it was a small little market. But it was a market that had never been played to. Nobody had sung their song to them. They had their poetry. They had their artwork. They had their music. They had their dress. They didn't have their movie."
            "Easy Rider" went "right into that movement. It was their movie."

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Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - August 17, 2019
Lewis Earl Nixon
1922 - 2019

            Lewis Earl Nixon, age 97, of Corning, NY died Thursday, August 15, 2019 at Bath VA Medical Center in Bath, NY.
            Mr. Nixon was born on May 28, 1922 in Corning to Walter and Eva (Betts) Nixon. He married Joyce Williams who predeceased him. He later married Norma Bates and was predeceased by her.
            Lewis attended Northside High School, graduated from Practical Bible Training School, and received a bachelor's degree from RIT, and a master's degree from the University of Buffalo. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1941-1945, where he served as a Seaman, Third Class-Radar and Surface and Air Search. He served aboard the USS Pennsylvania, battleship, and USS Frazier, destroyer, in the South Pacific, Philippine Islands, Tarawa, and Corregidor. After the war ended, his ship went into Tokyo Harbor and into the City of Tokyo. Lewis taught Art and Mechanical Drawing for grades one through high school, in the Perry Central School District and at Warsaw High School.
            He also taught adult art classes in the evenings. During summer vacations he painted houses and taught ceramic classes. He retired in 1984. He was an accomplished artist and often put on programs while doing a painting in various churches, depicting the life of Christ. He was a member of Christian Life Baptist Church.
            He is survived by his daughter, Deborah "Alani" Nixon of CA; step daughter, Ginny (Al) Goodman of Batavia, NY; sister, Jean Wenban of Corning, NY; grandchildren: Daniel, Brennan, Hayden, Deven, Heidi, and Nathan, Yevette and Anthony, Tyler, Noah, Hunter, Zoe, Elanora and Piper; several nieces and nephews.
            Lewis is predeceased by his step daughter, Becky (Winston) Johnson; brothers, Ivan Nixon and Chester Nixon; and sister, Lillian Fuller.
            Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, August 21st from 10-11 AM at Christian Life Baptist Church at 2523 Brown Hollow Road in Corning where services will follow at 11 AM with Pastor John Armstrong officiating. Burial will be held in the Bath National Cemetery in Bath, NY.
            Lewis' family entrusted his care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.

August 15, 2019
Lewis E. Nixon
1922 - 2019

            Word was received this afternoon from June Betts regarding the death of Lewis E. Nixon. Lewie died this morning at the Bath VA at the age of 97. Lewis was born May 28, 1922 at Corning, New York, the son of Walter E. and Eva F. Betts Nixson. He was a WWII Veteran of the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Frazier (DD-607) and USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). After the war he became an Art Teacher and has always been a strongly convicted Christian. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - August 4, 2019
John M. Bobrick
1926 - 2019

            John M. Bobrick, age 92, of Corning, NY died Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA.
John was born on November 18, 1926 in Corning to Peter and Helen (Zubaly) Bobrick. He married Shirley Peterson on June 16, 1951 at St. Patrick's Church in Corning. John was a graduate of Corning Free Academy and served in the United States Navy from 1944 – 1946. For over 35 years, John worked for the US Post Office as a rural carrier.
            He was an avid golfer and hunter. John enjoyed going to the national reunions all over the country for those who served on the aircraft carrier USS Rudyerd Bay (CVE-81). He was a member of the Elks and Corning Country Club as well as a lifetime member of the VFW. He volunteered as an Altar Server for St. Vincent's Church for many years.
            He is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughter, Diane (Jeffrey) Parish of Rochester; son, John Bobrick of Corning; grandchildren, Courtney (Michael) Chiazza and Alex Parish; several nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his siblings: Peter, George, Anna Kolcun, Mary Wiener, and Helen Bonik.
            At John's request there will be no services.
            John's family has entrusted his care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.

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Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - August 2, 2019
Karl G. Farrand
1938 - 2019

            Karl G. Farrand, age 81 of Addison, NY passed away on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at Elderwood in Hornell, NY. He was born on February 27, 1938 in Rathbone, NY to Ronald and Iva (Buck) Farrand. He married Jean Carr on August 10, 1984.
            Karl spent his entire career with the same railroad company starting at 18 years old. He spent 40 years as a trainman and a conductor for Erie, Erie Lackawanna and finally retiring from Conrail in 1996. He enjoyed restoring old cars and traveling to various car shows. He and Jean enjoyed a cottage in Lodi, NY on Seneca Lake for 25 years and spent their winters in Florida.
            Karl is survived by his loving wife of 35 years: Jean; 5 children: Michael Farrand of Elmira, Lisa Hunt of Horseheads, NY, Mark (Cassi) Farrand of Painted Post, NY, Joanne (Gary) Johnston of Bonifay, FL, Judy (Mike) Carr of Corning, NY; 6 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; 4 sisters: Melba (Jerry) Hayes of Ocala, FL, Teresa Reed of Savona, NY, Lois Musso of Elmira, NY, Brevadine Furney of CO; brothers in law: Steven Frederick of Campbell, NY, Kenneth (Ginny) Frederick of WA; lifelong friends: Harry (Kay) Carr of Bath, NY.
            In addition to his parents, Karl was predeceased by 2 sisters: Agnes Smith and Marlene Farrand.
            It was Karl's wish that there be no services. Carpenter-Flint Funeral Home has been entrusted
with his arrangements.
            In lieu of flowers, donations in Karl's name may be sent to: Alzheimer's Association, Rochester & Finger Lakes Region, 435 E. Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14620.
            To leave kind words or to share a memory of Karl, please visit

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Taken from:
Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - April 21, 2019
June M. Rounds
1923 - 2019

            June M. Rounds, age 96 of Addison, NY and Zephyrhills, FL, passed away on April 18, 2019 surrounded by her loving family.
            June was born March 17, 1923, a daughter of Samuel and Margaret Allen; beloved wife for 65 years of the late Clifton E. Rounds Jr; dearest mother of Roger (Gayla) Rounds of Addison, NY, Sharon (Roy) Kirkman of Olathe, CO, Nancy (Ted) Cronk of Lancaster, NY & Zephyrhills, FL, Peggy (Victor) Allyn of Byron, CA, and the late Richard (Kathryn) Rounds of Addison, NY; cherished grandmother of 10 grandchildren and great grandmother of 11; sister of Joyce (late William) Cutler and James (late Florence) Allen. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
            June graduated from Addison Central School and Elmira Business Institute. She was a stay at home mother of five while serving as manager of the family insurance business, Rounds Insurance and secretary/bookkeeper for the Addison Milk Producers. June has been a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church of Addison where she served as Deacon, Trustee, Financial Secretary, Treasurer of the Building Fund, Mission Committee, and member of the American Baptist Women's Association. June was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend who gave herself unselfishly to anyone and always put the needs of others above her own.
            The family will welcome relatives and friends for a Celebration of Life at the First Baptist Church of Addison, 14 Baldwin Avenue, Addison at a date and time to be announced. Carpenter-Flint Funeral Home, 10 Wall St., Addison, NY has been entrusted with the arrangements.
            In lieu of flowers, memorials in June's name may be made to the First Baptist Church of Addison, 14 Baldwin Avenue, Addison, NY 14801.
            Kind words and memories may be shared at:

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Taken from:
Obituary - "The Leader" Corning, NY - March 23, 2019
Kayanna Eve Lehman
            Kayanna Eve Lehman, age 23, of Addison, NY passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. She was born on July 12, 1995 in Elmira, NY the daughter of David Northrup and Tracey Lehman-Kelly.
            Kayanna graduated from Addison Central School and she was a child caregiver. She loved mudding, spending time with family, and listening to all types of music. She had an incredible heart and she was very generous. Kayanna had a wonderful smile, she left an impact on many lives and she will be missed by everyone who knew her.
            Kayanna is survived by her mother and step father: Tracey Lehman-Kelly of Addison and Doug Kelly of Corning; father: David (Shelly Aldrich) Northrup of Jasper; step brother: Steven (Jordin) Arnold of Corning; sister: Megan Kelly of Addison; brother: David Lehman-Kelly of Addison; niece: Lilah Decker of Corning; maternal grandmother and grandfather: Geraldine Lehman and Richard West, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was predeceased by her maternal grandfather, David Lehman Sr, and paternal grandparents, Kathryn Linkoski and Wilfred Northrup.
            Family and friends are invited to call at Carpenter-Flint Funeral Home, 10 Wall Street, Addison on Sunday, March 24th, 2019 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. A celebration of Kayanna's life will take place at Addison Fire Department following the visitation at the funeral home.
            In lieu of flowers, the family asks for assistance with Kayanna's unforeseen expenses.
            Kind words or fond memories of Kayanna can be offered to her family at

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March 19, 2019
Nancy Joan Cole
(January 26, 1942 - March 19, 2019)

            Word was received this morning, from Daniel R. Cole regarding the death of his mother, Nancy Joan Cole, 77, passed away in her sleep this morning. She was the daughter of David Lehman and Lillian Nixson; she married Roger Cole. When additional info becomes available it will be presented here.

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Obituary - "TheAdvocate" - January 25 - 29, 2019
Elliott "Pete" Francis Jarreau Jr.
NOVEMBER 20, 1949 – JANUARY 23, 2019

            Elliott "Pete" Francis Jarreau, Jr. Died at 9:55pm on Wednesday January 23, 2019 at The Butterfly unit at BRG/Midcity. He was 69 and a native of New Roads, La. resident of Ventress,La. He was a graduate of Glen Oaks HS where he was an excellent football player. He was a retiree of EBRSO for 12 years. Elliott is survived by his loving wife Christine Jarreau; Tootles (furry friend) Gracie; his children Stefannie, Christopher, Dawn (Paul) Theriot; two granddaughters Sydney & Everly; three sisters, Gail Bryant, Denham Springs, Janet (Al) White, Ethel La, Brenda (Rob) Gann, Colorado Springs, Colorado; uncle & Godfather Mitch (Bea) Auguillard as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Elliott is preceded in death by his twin babies; parents Elliott & Ethel Jarreau; his maternal grandparents Raoul & Aline Aguillard; paternal grandparents Berthier & Louise Jarreau; maternal aunts and paternal uncles. We would like to thank Hospice of Baton Rouge for their care & support through this hard road. Visitation will be held at Greenoaks Funeral Home 9595 Florida Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70815 on Monday, January 28, 2019 from 5-9pm. Visitation will resume Tuesday, January 29, 2019 from 10-11am with a Mass of Christian burial to follow at 11am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church 12369 LA-416, Lakeland, LA 70752. Officiant will be Father Todd Lloyd. Burial at Greenoaks Memorial Park will immediately follow. Friends and family are welcome to sign an online guestbook in Elliott Jarreau's honor at

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"The Leader" Corning, NY - December 1, 2018
George H.W. Bush dies at 94; made greatest mark in Gulf War
By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

            HOUSTON (AP) — He was the man who sought a “kinder, and gentler nation,” and the one who sternly invited Americans to read his lips — he would not raise taxes. He was the popular leader of a mighty coalition that dislodged Iraq from Kuwait, and was turned out of the presidency after a single term. Blue-blooded and genteel, he was elected in one of the nastiest campaigns in recent history.
            George Herbert Walker Bush was many things, including only the second American to see his son follow him into the nation’s highest office. But more than anything else, he was a believer in government service. Few men or women have served America in more capacities than the man known as “Poppy.”
            “There is no higher honor than to serve free men and women, no greater privilege than to labor in government beneath the Great Seal of the United States and the American flag,” he told senior staffers in 1989, days after he took office.
            Bush, who died at age 94 — nearly eight months after his wife of 73 years died at their Houston home — was a congressman, an ambassador to the United Nations and envoy to China, chairman of the Republican National Committee, director of the CIA, two-term vice president and, finally, president.
            He was no ideologue — he spoke disparagingly of “the vision thing,” and derided the supply-side creed of his future boss, Ronald Reagan, as “voodoo economics.” He is generally given better marks by historians for his foreign policy achievements than for his domestic record, but assessments of his presidency tend to be tepid.
            “Was George Bush only a nice man with good connections, who seldom had to wrest from life the honors it frequently bestowed on him?” journalist Tom Wicker asked in his Bush biography.
            Wicker’s answer: Perhaps. But he said Bush’s actions in Kuwait “reflect moments of courage and vision worthy of his office.”
            The Persian Gulf War — dubbed “Operation Desert Storm” — was his greatest mark on history. In a January 2011 interview marking the war’s 20th anniversary, he said the mission sent a message that “the United States was willing to use force way across the world, even in that part of the world where those countries over there thought we never would intervene.”
            “I think it was a signature historical event,” he added. “And I think it will always be.”
            After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Bush quickly began building an international military coalition that included other Arab states. After freeing Kuwait , he rejected suggestions that the U.S. carry the offensive to Baghdad, choosing to end the hostilities a mere 100 hours after the start of the ground offensive.
            “That wasn’t our objective,” he said. “The good thing about it is there was so much less loss of human life than had been predicted, and indeed than we might have feared.”
            But the decisive military defeat did not lead to the regime’s downfall, as many in the administration had hoped.
            “I miscalculated,” Bush acknowledged. The Iraqi leader was eventually ousted in 2003, in the war led by Bush’s son that was followed by a long, bloody insurgency.
            Unlike his son, who joined the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam era but served only in the U.S., the elder Bush was a bona fide war hero. He joined the Navy on his 18th birthday in 1942 over the objections of his father, Prescott, who wanted him to stay in school. At one point the youngest pilot in the Navy, he flew 58 missions off the carrier USS San Jacinto.
            His wartime exploits won him the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. He was shot down on Sept. 2, 1944, while completing a bombing run against a Japanese radio tower. Eight others who were shot down in that mission were captured and executed, and several were eaten by their captors. But an American submarine rescued Bush. Even then, he was an inveterate collector of friends: Aboard the sub Finback, “I made friendships that have lasted a lifetime,” he would write.
            This was a man who hand wrote thousands of thank you notes — each one personalized, each one quickly dispatched. Even his political adversaries would acknowledge his exquisite manners. Admonished by his mother to put others first, he rarely used the personal pronoun “I,” a quirk exploited by comedian Dana Carvey in his “Saturday Night Live” impressions of the president.
            Bush was born June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. His father, the son of an Ohio steel magnate, had moved east to make his fortune as an investment banker with Brown Brothers, Harriman, and later served 10 years as a senator from Connecticut. His mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, was the daughter of a sportsman who gave golf its Walker’s Cup.
            Competitive athletics were a passion for the Bushes, whether at home in Greenwich, Connecticut, or during long summers spent at Walker’s Point, the family’s oceanfront retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush, along with his three brothers and one sister, had lives of privilege seemingly untouched by the Great Depression.
            Young Bush attended Greenwich Country Day School and later Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, where he was senior class president and captain of the baseball and soccer teams. It was there, at a dance, that he met Barbara Pierce, daughter of the publisher of McCall’s magazine. George and Bar would marry when he left the Navy in January 1945. They were together for more than seven decades, becoming the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. She died on April 17, 2018.
            Out of the service, Bush resumed his education at Yale. Lean and 6-foot-2, he distinguished himself as first baseman and captain of the baseball team, which went to the College World Series twice . He took just 2˝ years to graduate Phi Beta Kappa.
            But rather than joining his father on Wall Street, in 1948 he loaded his wife and young son George W. into the family Studebaker and drove to the hot, dusty Texas oil patch to take a job as an equipment clerk for the International Derrick and Equipment Co.
            He did everything from painting oil pumps and selling oilfield equipment to discovering a taste for Lone Star beer and chicken fried steaks. At first, the family lived in Odessa in a two-apartment shotgun house with a shared bathroom; by 1955, they would own a house in Midland, and Bush would be co-owner of the Zapata Petroleum Corp.
            By the turn of the decade, the family — and Bush’s business — had moved to Houston. There, he got his start in politics, the traditional Bush family business. A handsome and well-spoken war hero, he was sought as a candidate by both parties. He chose the Republicans.
            Bush lost his first race, a 1964 challenge to Sen. Ralph Yarborough, but won a seat in the House in 1966. He won re-election in 1968 without opposition. In Congress, he generally supported President Richard Nixon and the war in Vietnam.
            In 1970, he tried for the Senate again. Yarborough was upset in the Democratic primary by Lloyd Bentsen, and Bentsen defeated Bush in the general election. Eighteen years later, Bentsen would be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee on the ticket that lost to Bush and his running mate, Dan Quayle.
            Nixon appointed Bush ambassador to the United Nations and, after the 1972 election, named him chairman of the Republican National Committee. Bush struggled to hold the party together as Watergate destroyed the Nixon presidency. He urged Nixon to quit one day before the president resigned in August 1974.
            Denied the vice presidency by Gerald Ford in favor of Nelson Rockefeller, Bush was given his choice of jobs and surprised Ford by asking to head the small mission in Beijing. Then, in 1975, Ford put Bush in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency, beset by congressional probing and allegations of assassination plots and domestic spying.
            Bush returned to private life when the Republicans lost the presidency in 1976, but he quickly began planning his own run for the White House.
            He won the first contest of 1980, the Iowa caucuses, and boasted that he had the “big mo,” his slang for momentum. But Reagan, who had led the conservative movement for more than a decade, won the New Hampshire primary and the nomination. His choice of Bush as his running mate was a near thing. Reagan — still smarting from Bush’s ridicule of “voodoo economics,” first wanted to pick Gerald Ford, and asked Bush only after negotiations broke down. They went on to defeat Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.
            In 1988, many Democrats assumed Bush would be easy pickings. He was the man “born with a silver foot in his mouth,” as fellow Texan Ann Richards jibed at the Democrats’ convention in Atlanta. He trailed Michael Dukakis by as many as 17 points that summer. Bush did little to help himself by picking Quayle, a lightly regarded junior senator from Indiana, as a running mate.
            The campaign was bitter and muddy. Advised by campaign manager Lee Atwater, Bush became an aggressor, wrapping himself in patriotic themes and settings — even visiting a flag factory — while flaying Dukakis as an out-of-touch liberal. Commercials hammered Dukakis for a prison furlough policy that allowed murderer Willie Horton to rape a woman while out on a weekend pass.
            Bush won by a landslide, with 40 states and a nearly 7 million vote plurality, becoming the first sitting vice president to win the White House since Martin Van Buren in 1836. He entered office with a reputation as a man of indecision and indeterminate views. A wimp, one newsmagazine suggested.
            But his work-hard, play-hard approach to the presidency won broad public approval. He held more news conferences in most months than Reagan did in most years.
            He pledged to make the United States a “kinder, gentler” nation and called on Americans to volunteer their time for good causes — an effort he said would create “a thousand points of light.”
            It was Bush’s violation of a different pledge, the no-new-taxes promise, that helped sink his bid for a second term. He abandoned the idea in his second year, cutting a deficit-reduction deal that angered many congressional Republicans and contributed to GOP losses in the 1990 midterm elections.
            He also set out to be “the education president,” but did little more than call on states and local communities to stiffen their school standards.
            Bush, an avid outdoorsman who took Theodore Roosevelt as a model, sought to safeguard the environment, signing the first improvements to the Clean Air Act in more than a decade. It was activism with a Republican cast, allowing polluters to buy others’ clean air credits and giving industry flexibility on how to meet tougher goals on smog.
            He also signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act to ban workplace discrimination against people with disabilities and require improved access to public places and transportation.
            Months after the Gulf War, Washington became engrossed in a different sort of confrontation over one of Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court — Clarence Thomas, a little-known federal appeals court judge. After a former colleague named Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment, Thomas’ confirmation hearings exploded into a national spectacle, sparking an intense debate over race, gender and the modern workplace. He was eventually confirmed.
            Seven years of economic growth ended in mid-1990, just as the Gulf crisis unfolded. Bush insisted the recession would be “short and shallow,” and lawmakers did not even try to pass a jobs bill or other relief measures.
            Bill Clinton took advantage of the nation’s economic fears, and a third-party bid from independent Ross Perot added to Bush’s challenge in seeking a second term.
            In the closing days of the 1992 campaign, Bush fought the impression that he was distant and disconnected and seemed to struggle against his younger, more empathetic opponent.             During a campaign visit to a grocers’ convention, Bush reportedly expressed amazement when shown an electronic checkout scanner — a damaging moment that suggested to many Americans that he was disconnected from voters. Later at a town-hall-style debate, he paused to look at his wristwatch — a seemingly innocent glance that became freighted with deeper meaning because it seemed to reinforce the idea of a bored, impatient incumbent.
            In the same debate, Bush became confused by a woman’s question about whether the deficit had affected him personally. Clinton, with apparent ease, left his seat, walked to the edge of the stage to address the woman and offered a sympathetic answer.
            “I lost in ’92 because people still thought the economy was in the tank, that I was out of touch and I didn’t understand that,” he said. “The economy wasn’t in the tank and I wasn’t out of touch, but I lost. I couldn’t get through this hue and cry for ‘change, change, change’ and ‘The economy is horrible, still in recession.’
            “Did I hurt when I lost the election? Sure. There’s a feeling of letting others down.”
            This was not the first heartbreak in Bush’s life, or the worst. In 1953, his 3-year-old daughter, Robin, died of leukemia. Sixty years later, he teared up when he talked about her with biographer John Meacham. “Normally I push it away, push it back,” he said.
            Barbara and George Bush had four sons and another daughter: John, known as Jeb, the former Florida governor who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016; Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy; and George, president 43 to his father’s 41. The day George W. Bush took office, the elder Bush signed a letter “the proudest father in the whole wide world.”
            Mostly, he stayed out of the public eye. Summoned by his son, Bush joined with Bill Clinton to raise money for relief after the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004. He piloted his speedboat, played tennis and golf. On his 72nd, 80th, 85th and 90th birthdays, he reprised his World War II parachute jumps.
            Quietly, occasionally, he counseled his son, the president. Mostly, he served as a cheerleader.
            On the day George W. sent forces to attack Iraq, he also sent his father a letter. “I know what you went through,” he wrote.
            The senior Bush responded that his son was “doing the right thing,” a decision made “with strength and compassion.” But he ended his note with the words of a little girl, dead a half-century.
            “Remember Robin’s words ‘I love you more than tongue can tell,’” he wrote. “Well, I do.”

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