Former Texas First Lady Rita Clements dead at 86

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Former Texas First Lady Rita Clements has died.

Clements was a well-known conservative who served on the Republican National Committee. She was married to Texas Governor Bill Clements until his deaht in 2011.

As a child, the former first lady attended the Hockaday School in Dallas.

A memorial service is set for Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Michael's and All Angels Church in the Park Cities area of Dallas.

Rita Clements was 86 years old.

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush released a statement reading:

"We are saddened to learn that our friend, Rita Clements, has died. When we think of Rita, we think of a strong Texas woman and a pioneer in the Republican party. She was a wonderful First Lady for the Lone Star State. We remember Rita's love of history  an interest from which we benefitted when we lived with the collection of historical art and furniture she curated for the Texas Governor's Mansion. Most of all, we remember a friend whose beloved family and state loved her back and will miss her."

Governor Greg Abbott and his wife also released a statement:

"Cecilia and I are truly saddened to learn of the death of Rita Clements, and we ask that all Texans join us in keeping the Clements family in their thoughts and prayers. Rita was an true stateswoman who served Texas both on the UT System Board of Regents and as a great steward of the Governors Mansion during her time as First Lady. Texas has suffered a tremendous loss, but Rita leaves behind an incredible legacy."