With the death of former President George H.W. Bush at the age of 94 on Friday, law enforcement in Maine – where he frequently spent his summers – have taken to social media to share their encounters with him and express their condolences.
In Kennebunkport, where the Bush family has a summer vacation home at Walker’s Point, both the police and fire departments reacted to the passing of the 41st president.
“We are very sorry to hear of the passing of George H.W. Bush, so commonly known to us as 41. We wish the family the best during this tough time of loss,” the police department said on Facebook.
They described the former first couple as always being “kind and down to earth” when they crossed paths with the police.
“Rest easy Sir! Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” the post said.
Similarly, the fire department on Facebook expressed their sadness about learning of Bush’s death, adding that they “take comfort in knowing he’s together again with his beloved wife Barbara.”
Bush died shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, about eight months after the death of his wife, family spokesman Jim McGrath announced.
“Mr. President may you and First Lady Bush Rest In Peace,” the fire department wrote on Facebook.
A Facebook post from the Bangor Police Department offered an anecdote to a retired officer’s encounter with Bush when he was in the area during his presidency.
During the visit, Bush wanted to take a walk, during which Officer Heitmann’s role “was to follow the group on foot.”
“President Bush looked back at the officer bringing up the rear and stopped walking, he then waved for Heitmann to come up and walk beside them,” the post said. “Heitmann remarked, on several occasions, over a few cups of coffee, that the President just chatted like they were old friends during that walk. He asked questions, listened, engaged, and thanked John for his service.”
How Bush carried himself in that moment was something that stuck with the officer, the department said.
“Sure, he was the 41st President of the United States, a heroic World War II aviator, and statesman. He was more than that to Mainers- and to a cop from Bangor- he was kind,” the post said.
Another police department in Ogunquit also shared their memories of Bush, who they said was considered a local in town and was a familiar face.
“He always had time to take a picture, sign an autograph or simply chat,” the department said on Facebook. “He loved being with people and you always left with a smile after speaking with him.”
The department would miss the former president and remember him well, they added.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.