Antoinette Hatfield recalls longtime friendship with Barbara Bush

Former first lady Barbara Bush passed on April 17, 2018 at the age of 92.

Her best friend lives in happens to live in  Oregon. Antoinette Hatfield and Mrs. Bush began a friendship when their husbands entered politics. That friendship spanned decades.

Former first lady Barbara Bush sat down with KOBI owner Patsy Smullin in 1988,  just before her husband would be voted into the White House. She said, “My family were wonderful. They went through the depression and this terrible sickness for five years. And somehow or other gave us the happiest childhood the world’s ever known.”

It was an intimate interview before one of the biggest changes of her life.

“What you see is what you get. I’m not going to change. You can like it or not. I hope you like it, but that’s what I am,” Bush commented.

Being first lady wasn’t something she asked for, but it was a role she gladly took on.

Bush said at the time, “I don’t think people know me. And I liked that. It makes me nervous now that you all are interested in me.”

At her side during the transition was Antionette Hatfield.

As the wife of former Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, she knew what the Barbara Bush and her husband were facing.

The two formed a bond, talking weekly up until Mrs. Bush’s death Tuesday. Following Barbara Bush’s passing, Mrs. Hatfield shared her memories with NBC5.

“It was two days I texted to her and it was yesterday I got a text,” Hatfield said. “She was disappointing people because she hadn’t died yet.”

While there were often many miles between them, Hatfield said it never interfered with their friendship. “She was just a very loyal friend and so was he,” Hatfield explained. “They were people you could admire and look up to.”

Mrs. Hatfield received an invitation to the funeral/

u can see the full interview with Barbara Bush on the Up Close with Patsy Smullin (UpClosewithPS) YouTube channel.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content