Nancy Bush Ellis, Sister of Former President George H. W. Bush, Dies at 94 Due to COVID-19 Complications

Maria Pasquini
·2 min read

Marcy Nighswander/AP/Shutterstock Nancy Bush Ellis and George H. W. Bush

Nancy Bush Ellis, the only sister of late former President George H. W. Bush, has died. She was 94.

Ellis died on Sunday at an assisted living facility in Concord, Massachusetts, from complications related to COVID-19, her son Alexander Ellis III told The New York Times.

Ellis tested positive after being admitted to the hospital on Dec. 30 with a fever, her son told the Times, noting that while her symptoms went away within days, her general health did not improve.

“We are sad to share that President Bush’s beloved sister, Nancy Bush Ellis, has passed away. Our condolences and prayers are with the Ellis and Bush families as we remember a remarkable woman who brought joy and light to the world,” the George & Barbara Bush Foundation wrote in a statement.

Although she was a Democrat for years — and served as the head of the New England section of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund — Ellis was supportive of both her brother and nephew George W. Bush.

“She was a wonderfully energetic campaigner and cheerleader for her brother,” her son Alexander told the Times.

Jon Meacham, the official biographer for the 41st president, added, “She was a Democrat for whom family came first.”

Ellis was also a board member and honorary director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and served on the board of Pact, a nonprofit fighting against poverty.

Ellis is survived by daughter Nancy Walker Ellis Black and three sons, Alexander, John Prescott Ellis and Josiah Wear Ellis, who is the Denver Broncos president and chief executive. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren as well as brother Jonathan James Bush, 89.

Ellis' husband, Alexander Ellis Jr., died in 1989 at age 67.

Former President Bush died in 2018 and he was preceded in death by older brother Prescott S. Bush Jr. as well as younger brother William H.T. Bush.

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