Ellis passed away on Sunday, January 11, in an assisted living facility in Concord, Mass. Ellis was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, December 30, and tested positive for COVID-19.
"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 stated.
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.— George & Barbara Bush Foundation (@BushFdn) January 10, 2021
Her son Alexander Ellis III told The New York Times that Ellis had gone to the hospital with a fever, and while her COVID-19 symptoms had eased within days, Ellis’ health did not pick back up.
Although Ellis came from a Republican family, she was a Democrat who was very supportive of her brother and nephew during their presidential bids and was "a wonderfully energetic campaigner and cheerleader for her brother."
"I was out in what George [H.W. Bush] calls 'deep left,'" Ellis previously said, but biographer Jon Meacham described Ellis as "a Democrat for whom family came first."
Ellis' nephew described her as his favorite aunt, and Ellis reminded the former President that she was his only aunt.
When George W. Bush ran for president again in 2004, Ellis campaigned outside the U.S. in London, Paris and Frankfurt to encourage Americans abroad to vote.
Throughout her long life, Ellis was an environmentalist, a board member and honorary director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She also raised funds for the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area and was a board member of Pact, which is an organization that seeks to combat global poverty.
Ellis is survived by her children, Nancy, Alexander, John and Josiah, in addition to her nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and her brother, Jonathan James Bush.
We're thinking of Ellis' family during this difficult time.