Mourners pause as former US first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP

Houston — Some 1 500 guests are expected Saturday at a private funeral for Barbara Bush at the nation's largest Episcopal church.

First lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, and former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are among those expected to attend the by-invitation-only service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. Burial will follow at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles (161 kilometres) northwest of Houston.

The burial site is in a gated plot surrounded by trees and near a creek where the couple's 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukaemia in 1953, is buried.

Dorothy Hanson holds the program as she leaves the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Picture: David J. Phillip/AP

In a statement released Friday, the family said Barbara Bush had selected son Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, to deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of her husband.

Former President George H. W. Bush greets the mourners with his daughter Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch during the visitation for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. Picture: Mark Burns/Office of George H.W. Bush/Pool via AP
Former US first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. Picture: David J. Phillip/AP

Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Barbara Bush, wife of the nation's 41st president and mother of the nation's 43rd. Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.

AP