Remembering lifelong friendship with President George H.W. Bush

By Chris Lundstrom


President George H.W. Bush’s death on Nov. 30 ended a 55-year friendship between the former president and Edna resident Joyce Jarratt.

Jarratt was invited to attend Bush’s Houston funeral and she and her daughter, Judy Srubar, went to say their goodbyes to a good friend.

Jarratt first met Bush when he was the Republican Party chairman in Houston and her late husband, Ken, was precinct chairman. She volunteered as needed at the party headquarters whenever she had extra time. She was asked to attend a rally when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1963 to listen to all four of the candidates and give her opinion of them.

“I listened to the other Senate candidates and was just blown away when I heard Bush speak,” she said. “I told Kenneth ‘I’ve found our candidate.’”

“Bush wasn’t there much, but Barbara was always at the headquarters,” Jarratt said.

Bush lost that year, but in ‘65 he was elected to the House of Representatives from Texas’ 7th congressional district. Jarratt began working at his headquarters one day a week and first got to know him and Barbara during that campaign.

“There were 10 of us that had been there from the first. He looked to us for advice, when he ran for re-election to the House I was his precinct chairman. We didn’t do that much, but he never forgot. He never forgot his friends. If he hadn’t of been running I would have worked for her [Barbara],” she said with a smile.

Bush ran for Senate again in 1968, the year the Jarratts

moved to Edna, and the couple continued their support of him.

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