Houstonians remember the life of former first lady Nancy Reagan

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Houstonians remember Nancy Reagan, Tom Abrahams and Deborah Wrigley reports.

Nancy Reagan, the helpmate, backstage adviser and fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president -- and finally during his 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease -- has died. She was 94.

With news of Nancy Reagan's death, several Houstonians were able to remember someone who was much more than the first lady of the United States of America.

James Baker last spoke with Nancy Reagan a month ago on the birthday of President Ronald Reagan. Baker says he had plans to visit the first lady this week in California.

READ MORE: Nancy Reagan, former first lady, dead at 94
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Remembering Nancy Reagan, Tom Abrahams reports.

Baker served as the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, despite the fact he led two campaigns against Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980.

WATCH: Nancy Reagan in Houston in 1974
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Nancy Reagan with her husband who was in Houston for a George Bush event. 1974

He credits Nancy Reagan with submitting his name for consideration as Chief of Staff when the Reagan administration took office in 1981.

Baker says she was more than a first lady. She was a partner and fierce defender of her husband.

"Together they were a team that restored America's confidence in itself following the melees of the Carter years," Baker said. "Not only restored America's pride and confidence in itself, but also reinvigorated our leadership position in world affairs."

PHOTOS: Nancy Reagan through the years

For another Houstonian, the death of Nancy Reagan was a bittersweet day.

Peter Roussel says he remembers Nancy Reagan as being much more than just first lady to the president. Roussel served as Ronald Reagan's press secretary.

"She was dedicated to her country and dedicated to her husband. She was a person of great conviction," Roussel said.

In the end, the love story of the Reagan's was something Roussel was able to witness firsthand.

"When you were walking down the West Wing hallway and saw the two of them together, it kind of brightened your day," Roussel added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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