Ex-President Makes Surprise Visit, Thanks Mourners

Update: 2:30 p.m.

Public visitation continues at a Houston church for Barbara Bush, who is lying in repose until midnight.

Several thousand people are expected to see her casket today at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where the Bushes have been members for 54 years. Her funeral is tomorrow.

President George H.W. Bush made an unannounced visit to the casket after lunchtime and sat nearby the former first lady's casket, shaking hands with members of the public who filed by to pay their respects. He stayed for about 20 minutes, thanking each surprised mourner one by one.

About 1,300 people filed by Mrs. Bush's casket in just the first few hours. Hundreds lined up early for the opportunity -- and organizers braced for crowds to be at their fullest after Friday's workday ended.

The opportunity is free and open to the public, but people must go through security at Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive, then ride a Metro shuttle to and from St. Martin’s.

No walkups are allowed at St. Martin's.

Large, oversized purses and bags are not allowed inside the church. Also, people are asked to respect the Bush family by switching off cell phones and not taking photographs.

People should use Voss Road to enter the parking lot at Second Baptist.

Saturday's funeral is invitation-only. Newsradio 740 KTRH will have live coverage of the funeral starting at 11 a.m. that day.

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