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Mainers send thoughts and prayers to Bush family

The Bush family is beloved in Maine, especially in Kennebunkport, where their summer home is located on "Walker's Point." (WGME)

KENNEBUNKPORT (WGME) -- The Bush family is beloved in Maine, especially in Kennebunkport, where their summer home is located on "Walker's Point."

The property has been in the family for decades.

Some even call them the rock of the community, so you can imagine this news is hitting a lot of people very hard.

Locals are sending their thoughts and prayers to the Bushes Monday night, but also, their gratitude.

Evelyn Paine says her husband's painting of Walker's Point is what started their decades-long friendship with George and Barbara Bush.

“They’re just wonderful, wonderful people, not only for us but everyone who knows them,” Paine said.

Standing in the W. Robert Paine Gallery, she says her husband, Bob, has done several other paintings for the Bushes, including one that hangs in their Houston home, seen in their Christmas card.

She says they last saw George and Barbara in October. Every year, before the Bushes go back to Texas, the two couples meet for dinner at Mabel's.

Locals can't imagine a summer without them.

Tina Hewett-Gordon is general manager at the Nonantum Resort. She says the former President and First Lady are fixtures at the Memorial Day parade and often leave tourists in awe.

“For us, I don’t want to ever say we take it for granted, but they're a part of the thread of our community, and so they're just our neighbors down the street,” Hewett-Gordon said.

Neighbors who have left a lasting impression.

They say Barbara Bush is one of a kind.

Paine says very early on, Barbara told her, “We're not Mr. President and First Lady. It's simply George and Barbara.

That's how they're thought of in Kennebunkport, a town currently sending lots of love to Texas.

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