Just three months ago, Bush was caught on camera passing a cough drop to Michelle in an exchange that went viral during the funeral of late Senator John McCain.
The country said goodbye to him Wednesday in a national funeral service that offered high praise for the last of the presidents to have fought in World War II - and a hefty dose of humour about a man once described as a cross between Mister Rogers and John Wayne.
"In our grief", his son George said, "let us smile knowing that Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again".
"He was a man of such great humility", said Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming.
Bush then continued down the row, shaking hands with former president Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.
"When he lost, he shouldered the blame", Bush added.
For all the sombre tributes to the late president's public service and strength of character, laughter filled the cathedral time after time.
Meacham also praised Bush's call to volunteerism - his "1,000 points of light" - placing it alongside Abraham Lincoln's call to honour "the better angels of our nature" in the American rhetorical canon.
Bush, who also served as vice president to Ronald Reagan, did not endorse Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump had mocked "1,000 points of light" last summer at a rally, saying "What the hell is that?"
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and set the stage for the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, achieved under his successor, Clinton. The three countries have agreed on a revised trade agreement pushed by Trump. The Bushes and congressional leaders stood outside the US Capitol with hands on hearts as Bush's casket was carried out to a 21-gun salute. Family members looked on as servicemen fired off a cannon salute.
The hearse carrying the body of former US President George H.W. Bush drives past the White House on December 5, 2018. Bush's route was lined with people much of the way, bundled in winter hats and taking photos.
Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, shook hands inside the cathedral with his immediate two-term predecessor, Barack Obama, and wife Michelle, but the tension between the Trumps and Obama was palpable in the pews, epitomizing the nation's political divide.
Clinton stared straight ahead and the two made no eye contact. Obama cracked up laughing at someone's quip. In the second row are Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and his wife Marilyn Quayle and former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn Cheney, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden.
Since Bush's death, Trump has traded his usual provocative posture for one of respect and solemnity, tweeting before heading to the cathedral about "a day of celebration for a great man". Trump and his wife took their seats after the others, briefly greeting the Obamas seated next to them.
The current president, who has had a contentious public feud with the Bush family, earlier had declared Wednesday a national day of mourning, closing federal agencies, suspending regular mail delivery and closing stock markets.
A divided Washington led by the nation's five living presidents put on a rare show of unity Wednesday at the state funeral of George Herbert Walker Bush, as America bade farewell to its 41st president.
Publican supuesta confesion de violacion de Cristiano Ronaldo
Posteriormente, Cristiano aseguró que tuvieron una relación "Completamente consentida", según informó uno de sus abogados . Los supuestos hechos se habrían presentado en 2009 en Las Vegas .