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Kennebunkport community reacts to Barbara Bush's failing health

Kennebunkport community reacts to Barbara Bush's failing health

KENNEBUNKPORT (WGME) – Former First Lady Barbara Bush, 92, is in failing health.

A spokesperson for the Bush family said Sunday Barbara Bush would not seek any further medical treatment and is now focusing on comfort care in her home outside Houston.

Mrs. Bush has had a series of recent hospitalizations.

The Bush family spends summers at their Walker’s Point home in Kennebunkport.

The community there is reacting to the news of her failing health.

Sonny Hutchins used to own Port Lobster. He called the former First Lady a pillar in the community. “I'm very, very sorry to hear it. I've known them for a long time and she's a great lady.”

Hutchins, 63, said Mr. and Mrs. Bush have touched the lives of everyone in town. “If you talked to them for a minute, you would think you’ve known them all your life, and I’ve known them quite a few years.”

Down the street at Colonial Pharmacy, a frequent stop of Barbara's, employees describe her warmth as infectious. One woman recounted when her daughter was christened by Mrs. Bush.

Barbara and George H.W. are long-time friends of Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement, the owners of HB Provisions in Kennebunkport.

“She'll tell you like it is without holding back,” said Thorgalsen.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush were even witnesses to the couple’s marriage, which made national news. “Even though we'd been friends with them for a long time, it really said, ‘Wow, they really do think of you too as being pretty special in their lives,” said Clement.

A montage of pictures hangs on the wall of their general store, and while Barbara's health is fading her friends say their memories will last a lifetime.

“We're kind of rounding another corner of her life. It'll be a big loss for us, but we also are so incredibly fortunate and blessed and honored that we've been a part of her life in a very small way,” said Clement.

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