BILLINGS – Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a colleague and longtime friend of George and Barbara Bush, will be one of four speakers to deliver the eulogy at the late president’s funeral Wednesday.
The colorful Simpson told Q2 News Monday night his friendship with the Bush family dates back to the 1960s, when his father, former Wyoming Sen. Milward Simpson, sold his Washington, D.C. home to the Bushes with a “handshake.”
Simpson also recalled when he and his wife Anne invited the Bushes to go camping in Glacier Park.
“We had some great times, one of them in Glacier Park with George & Barbara, just the four of us,” Simpson said. “Boy we boogied around there when he was vice president. He was a decent, wonderful, civilized man, good common sense, manners. I know manners is a sick thing, nobody knows what the hell they are these days, but that’s George. History books, as every day goes by you know, will report him in a more positive way.”
Bush died Friday at his Texas home at the age of 94. His body arrived in Washington, D.C. Monday, and he is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
As for his remarks at Wednesday’s funeral, Simpson said he wrote them down when the Bush family contacted him five years ago – when George first took ill and had taken a turn for the worst.
“So I’ve known for some time that on some, unknown day, I would be asked to do this, so I’m ready,” Simpson said. “I’m going to keep it light, yet serious. But it will be reflections on this man and his humility and his good humor and his love of America.”
In addition to Simpson, also delivering eulogies at Wednesday’s funeral at the National Cathedral will be former President George W. Bush, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and presidential historian Jon Meacham.