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Sports, entertainment icons among star-studded guest list for Bush funeral

Entertainment and sports stars from Houston and beyond were on hand for the remembrance of George H.W. Bush Thursday in Houston.

Former President George H.W. Bush’s second state funeral took place Thursday morning in Houston. Here’s a look at some of the sports and entertainment stars (in no particular order) that were on hand at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church:

Reba McIntire

McIntire, one of Bush's favorite performers, sang the Lord's Prayer at the funeral Thursday.

The Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys performed "Amazing Grace" at Thursday's funeral, as they'd done at inauguration events and at Bush's home before.

Band member Duane Allen remembers the group's introduction to Bush back in the 1980s:

“We were doing soundcheck and here came this long and lanky guy with a bag over his shoulder running toward the stage from the White House,” Allen recalled. “He said, “I’m a huge country music fan and you’re my favorite group. Is there any way you can do some songs for me?’”

Since then, they've been playing for Bush, the group said at Thursday's funeral.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger formed a special bond with Bush over the years. He penned a statement on Medium after Bush’s passing:

George Bush was an inspiration to all Americans and we will miss him dearly. From the day he first put on his U.S. Navy flight suit and took off into the unknown, he always put his country first. He took on many jobs throughout his long career, and all shared one distinct trait: public service. His greatest legacy is that pure American spirit, that commitment to selflessness that drove him until the very end.

Actress Teri Hatcher

Hatcher has long been a friend of Bush's.

Actor Chuck Norris

The Houston Chronicle published an article in 2015, 23 years after Bush and Norris partnered for an anti-drug event sponsored by Norris' iconic TV show "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Bush "took a little break from the Republican National Convention and channeled his inner karate master when he put on an honorary karate uniform and black belt jacket," the article read.

Astronaut Walter Cunningham

Bush was an advocate for NASA and space exploration, launching the Space Exploration Initiative in 1989. Cunningham was on the Apollo 7 mission.

Houston Texan J.J. Watt

Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio

Baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell

Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan

Ryan met Bush in 1968, when Bush's uncle, Herbert Walker, owned the New York Mets. Ryan later spent nine seasons (1980-88) of his Hall-of-Fame career with the Astros, and is now in the organization's front office.

Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy LaSorda

The legendary Los Angeles Dodgers manager was a friend of Bush's. In 2005, Bush named Lasorda to the presidential delegation to attend the U.S. National Day at the World Exposition in Japan, according to Presidential Papers.

Baseball player Bob Aspromonte of the Houston Colt .45s and Astors

Baseball player Ken Aspromonte of the Houston Astros

Baseball player Larry Dierker of the Houston Astros

CBS Sports Coordinating Producer and Lead Game Producer Lance Barrow

Former Notre Dame Basketball Coach Digger Phelps

Bush's friendship with Phelps transcended his love of sports. Phelps worked in Bush 41's White House as part of Operation Weed and Seed, according to South Bend news station WNDU. Operation Weed and Seed was an initiative aimed at ending violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity, according to the DOJ.

Former Texas A&M Football Coach R.C. Slocum

Bush was an "adopted Aggie," choosing A&M as the location of his presidential library. Here's how he came to love Texas A&M.

Former NBA Player and Hall of Famer Clyde “The Glide” Drexler

Former NBA Player Yao Ming

Bush instantly became a fan of Yao’s when the 7-foot-5 star came stateside from China to play for the Rockets. According to Rockets president Tad Brown via the Houston Chronicle, Bush felt a special connection to Yao’s service in Houston as well as in China.

"He gravitated toward Yao and then he developed that relationship with Dikembe (Mutombo) because of similar ideas of service,” Brown told the paper. “It's about serving people in the communities that need it the most.”

Which brings us to the next NBA star on the list...

Former NBA Player Dikembe Mutombo

Mutombo played his final five seasons (until the age of 42) with the Rockets, overlapping with Ming in that time when both big men formed a friendship with the former president.

Business icon and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta

Philanthropists Nancy and Rich Kinder

The Kinders were campaign donors and later financial contributors to Bush family endeavors including SMU's Bush Center. Nancy Kinder worked for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.

Businessman and former Houston Astros Owner Drayton McLane

Houston icon and entrepreneur Jim “Matress Mack” McIngvale

The beloved Houston entrepreneur was a longtime friend of Bush's, and has decorated the entrance to his flagship store with photos with the former president, according to Houston's ABC 13.

Country Singer Larry Gatlin

The Gatlin Brothers band knew Bush for more than five decades, according to ABC 13, playing at inaugurations and campaign events throughout the years.

Country Singer Crystal Gayle

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