Laura Bush’s mother Jenna dies at 99: ‘We miss her early’

Laura Bush’s mother, Jenna Hawkins Welch, has died. She was 99.

The former first lady, 72, shared the news in a heartbreaking Instagram post on Sunday, May 12.

“This Mother’s Day, I’m remembering my mother, who passed away at the age of 99 on Friday morning. Jenna Hawkins Welch was a true daughter of West Texas who loved her family, books, and nature,” Bush wrote alongside a picture of Welch smiling. “My memories of reading with her and stargazing under the Midland sky are reminders of the passions that she nurtured in me. Our family is grateful for her long and wonderful life. We miss her dearly.”

Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager— who was named after her late grandmother — also posted a sweet tribute in her honor.

“Waking up thinking of my precious namesake, Jenna Welch who passed away Friday. How lucky I was to be named after a woman who taught me how to slow down and appreciate every bird, and every plant in West Texas,” the Today show cohost captioned a series of snaps. “She read us poetry and taught us about every constellation in the sky. Her kindness and graciousness were as expansive as the West Texas horizon.”

Hager added with a nod to her grandfather, Harold Welch, who died in April 1995: “So happy she’s reunited with her great love, our Pa after almost 25-years apart. Thinking of my mama too who lost her little mama right before Mother’s Day.”

According to an obituary in Sunday’s Midland Reporter-Telegram, “Jenna Welch engaged in a variety of civic activities, including as a Girl Scout troop leader, a member of the Boone Bible Class and a Sunday school teacher at the First United Methodist Church of Midland, and a member of the Midland Naturalist Society, ‘the Mid-Nats.’”

She is survived by Laura, her son-in-law, former President George W. Bush, two granddaughters Barbara Bush (her husband, Craig Coyne), Jenna Hager (her husband, Henry Hager) and two great-granddaughters.

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TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Monday, December 10, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: (AFP- OUT) Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George Bush, touches the casket of former President George H.W. Bush after speaking at his State Funeral at the National Cathedral, December 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. A WWII combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Friday, November 9, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, October 15, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Jenna Bush Hager, Savannah Guthrie at 2018 US Open on September 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Jenna Bush and Barbara Bush attend the Carolina Herrera front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on September 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Sheinelle Jones on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Thursday, August 2, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Al Roker and Jenna Bush Hager on Wednesday, Auguest 1, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Monday, July 30, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Shienelle Jones on Thursday, June 28, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Monday, June 18, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GREENWICH, CT - MAY 31: Jenna Bush Hager speaks onstage during the Changemaker Gala at L'Escale Restaurant during the 2018 Greenwich International Film Festival on May 31, 2018 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Greenwich Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: UNICEF NextGen Founding Chair Jenna Bush Hager attends the Launch of UNICEF's Project Lion at The Highline Hotel on May 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for UNICEF)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Kathie Lee Gifford on Wenesday, May 9, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, April 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Kathie Lee Gifford on Friday, Feb. 22, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Jenna Bush Hager and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: 74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: TV personality Jenna Bush Hager arrives to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Jenna Bush Hager and Brandon Jones attend Edible Schoolyard NYC Annual Harvest Dinner with Chef Massimo Bottura, Hosted by Lela Rose at Private Residence on November 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Jenna Bush Hager dressed as her grandmother Barbara Bush during NBC's 'Today' Halloween at Rockefeller Plaza on October 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: NBC TV Personality Jenna Bush Hager attends the Puff Daddy and The Family Performance On NBC's 'Today'at Rockefeller Plaza on May 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Margaret Cho and Jenna Bush are the guests today on 'THE VIEW,' 5/19/16 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) JENNA BUSH
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 8: Jenna Bush Hager attends the women's semifinals during day 11 of the 2016 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11: Co-authors Laura Bush (L) and Jenna Bush-Hager attend 92Y Talks: Laura Bush & Jenna Bush-Hager on May 11, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0468 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush Hager and Former First Lady Laura Bush on May 10, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11: (L-R) Hoda Kotb, Laura Bush and Jenna Bush-Hager attend the 92Y Talks: Laura Bush & Jenna Bush-Hager on May 11, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Editorial Director PEOPLE and EW, Jess Cagle and Jenna Bush Hager speak at the Time Inc. NEWFRONT at Gotham Hall on May 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Time Inc.)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, and Forest Whitaker appear on the 'Today' show on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Wrangler -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Wrangler, Jenna Bush Hager -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
KENNETT, MISSOURI - FEBRUARY 02: Jenna Bush Hager, a correspondent for The TODAY Show, joins Sheryl Crow, AdoptAClassroom.org and Farmers Insurance to surprise the teachers at Kennett High School with a $21,600 donation for classroom supplies at Kennett High School with an AdoptAClassroom.org Grant during a Pep Rally on February 2, 2016 in Kennett, Missouri (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for Farmers Insurance)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Al Roker, Jenna Bush, Brittany Schreiber and Hoda Kotb attend the Billboard Women in Music Luncheon on December 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Billboard)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Journalist Jenna Welch Bush Hager attends Billboard's 10th Annual Women In Music at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Jenna Bush Hager attends Lela Rose Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Gallery, Skylight at Clarkson Sq on September 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Teacher Jenna Bush Hager (L) and Barbara Pierce Bush attend Prabal Gurung Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Jenna Bush Hager attends day twelve of the 2015 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
GREENWICH, CT - JUNE 05: Jenna Bush Hager listens at Greenwich Film Festival 2015 - All Things Must Pass Opening Night Premiere at Bow Tie Cinemas on June 5, 2015 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Greenwich Film Festival 2015)
GREENWICH, CT - JUNE 05: (L-R) Director Colin Hanks, GIFF Founder Wendy Stapleton Reyes, Television Personality Jenna Bush Hager attend the Greenwich International Film Festival Opening Night Screening of 'All Things Must Pass' at the Bow Tie Cinema on June 5, 2015 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)
GREENWICH, CT - JUNE 05: Author Jenna Bush Hager attends Greenwich Film Festival 2015 - All Things Must Pass Opening Night Premiere at Bow Tie Cinemas on June 5, 2015 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Greenwich Film Festival 2015)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Al Roker and Jenna Bush Hager appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Jenna Bush Hager and Laura Bush are seen in Tribeca on March 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
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