DETROIT – Mike Ford and Susan Ford Bales, the son and daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Mrs. Betty Ford, released statements in response to the passing of President George H.W. Bush.
The two also shared photos of the Ford family with the late president. Mike Ford currently serves as the chair of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.
Mike Ford's statement can be read below:
"On behalf of the Ford family and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, we want to extend to the entire Bush family our love and deepest sympathy for the passing of their father and patriarch.
We recognize President George H. W. Bush as not only a kind and loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, and leader of the Bush family, but also as a great American leader and public servant for our nation for over seven decades.
The Foundation’s Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service, awarded to President Bush in 2016, honors the noble character and humane values which President Bush embodied in his long and distinguished career of serving the people of our nation and the world across many years and in multiple leadership positions.
Our father and mother cherished the deep and sacred friendship which they shared with President and Mrs. Bush. Together we celebrate the wonderful life and legacy of President Bush as we keep the Bush family close in our thoughts and prayers."
Susan Ford Bales' statement on Bush's passing:
"The passing of President George H. W. Bush saddens me to the core. America has lost an extraordinary embodiment of leadership, integrity, and resolve; I’ve lost a special friend of mine, as he most certainly was for Dad and Mom.
Whenever America called on him to serve his country (which it did time and time again for over seven decades), he answered that call with a patriotic and selfless resolve that will serve as a gleaming point of light for generations to come. Whether serving as a naval aviator flying combat missions in World War II, congressman, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as Dad’s personal representative to China and his CIA director, vice president, or as our 41st president, Americans knew that we could always depend on George H. W. Bush to get the job done, and get the job done right. And that is exactly what he did – without fail - time and time again.
On the fireplace mantle in the White House’s State Dining Room are the words of President John Adams, "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof." President Bush fulfilled his predecessor’s wish magnificently and in so doing indelibly defined honest and wise presidential leadership. And as a loving husband, dad, “Gampy” and friend, he showed and shared with all of us the joys of a personal life well lived – very well lived.
I send deepest sympathies and prayers to Doro, Marvin, Neil, Jeb, President Bush, and the entire Bush family. May God bless and watch over President George H. W. Bush, his beloved Barbara, and the nation they both so nobly served. Thank you, Mr. President, and Godspeed."