His was a life that was "far too brief," the president said of Snow.
Bush was accompanied to the funeral on the campus of Catholic University by some familiar faces from earlier in his presidency, including former top adviser Karl Rove and one-time chief of staff Andrew Card. Row after row at the shrine was packed with family members and friends and associates, including White House correspondents.
An enlarged photo of Snow was displayed, showing him smiling at the press secretary's podium in the White House press room.
Snow was White House press secretary from May 2006 until last September. He was long a member of Washington's power circles, and a familiar face across the country, as a conservative commentator and an interviewer on TV and radio for Fox News.
In a homily, the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, president of Catholic University, told the mourners: "The measure of this man's life can be found in his character, in his optimism, in his joy and humor, in his courage, in his passion for what was good and right, and in his love for God and family and neighbor and country. Tony snow did not need a long life for us to measure. It was, rather, we who needed his life to be longer."