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story.lead_photo.caption Union County Judge Mike Loftin signs the memorial guestbook for former President George H.W. Bush at Young’s Funeral Home in El Dorado on Tuesday. The book will be available for local residents to sign until Friday afternoon. Madeleine Leroux/News-Times

A local funeral home is featuring a guestbook this week that allows area residents to express their condolences for former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush, who served as the nation’s 41st president and father of the 43rd, died Friday at the age of 94, just eight months after the loss of his wife. Bush’s funeral arrangements are being handled by Dignity Memorial, a company that owns many funeral homes across the country, including Young’s Funeral Home in El Dorado, said David Garner manager of Young’s.

Garner said that because of that connection, the funeral home will have a memorial book available for the public to express condolences until during business hours this week in the office on Champagnolle Road. People can stop in to sign the book until about 4 p.m. Friday.

The local funeral home also had a memorial book available when Barbara Bush died in April.

After Friday, the book will be sent to Houston and will be put in the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. Bush will be buried on the grounds of the library, alongside his wife of 73 years and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age 3.

Like his late wife, Bush’s funeral will be held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, which the couple regularly attended, in Houston.

On Monday, Bush was sent off from Texas with a 21-gun salute. His casket was carried to Joint Base Andrews outside the capital city aboard an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One and designated “Special Air Mission 41” in honor of Bush’s place on the chronological list of presidents.

He will continue to lie in state in the Capitol for public visitation until about 9:45 a.m. Central Standard Time today. An invitation-only funeral service, which the Trumps will attend, is set for noon CST at Washington National Cathedral.

Although Bush’s funeral services are suffused with the flourishes accorded presidents, by his choice they will not include a formal funeral procession through downtown Washington.

Eulogies will be offered by his son and former President George W. Bush, former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and historian Jon Meacham, Bush family spokesmen said.

On Sunday, students, staff and visitors had flocked to Bush’s presidential library on the campus of Texas A&M University, with thousands of mourners paying their respects at a weekend candlelight vigil at a nearby pond and others contributing to growing flower memorials at Bush statues at both the library and a park in downtown Houston.

After services in Washington, Bush will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the library grounds.

Trump has ordered the federal government closed today for a national day of mourning. The U.S. Postal Service has suspended mail service for today in observance of the day of mourning.

Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Madeleine Leroux can be reached at 870-862-6611 or mleroux@eldoradonews.com.

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