“Where are we going, Bake?”

His longtime friend and former secretary of state, James A. Baker III, arrived at his Houston home on Friday morning to check on him.

Mr. Bush suddenly grew alert, his eyes wide open. “Where are we going, Bake?” he asked.

“We’re going to heaven,” Mr. Baker answered.

“That’s where I want to go,” Mr. Bush said.

Barely 13 hours later, Mr. Bush was dead. The 41st president died in his home in a gated community in Houston, surrounded by several friends and members of his family. As the end neared on Friday night, his son George W. Bush was put on the speaker phone to say goodbye. He told him that he had been a “wonderful dad” and that he loved him.

“I love you, too,” Mr. Bush told his son.