Maine Fondly Remembers Barbara Bush

In Maine, memorials to Barbara Bush are growing.

At Ganny's Garden on the public green in Kennebunkport, people have been stopping by to drop off flowers and pay respects Wednesday. Another memorial of flowers and personal notes is forming outside Walker's Point, Mrs. Bush's summer home. And at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland, patients are leaving messages and tributes to the former First Lady, signing a banner inside the hospital.

"I wrote God will always be with her," said patient Gabe Biasuz. "She's up there somewhere."

Though Bush will never walk those hospital hallways, visit with patients or read books to children there again, officials at Maine Medical Center say her legacy will live on.

"Her spirit will continue on in this hospital," said Jere Michelson, chair of the Maine Medical Center's board. "She understood that her presence here was critical in health, well-being and recovery."

Michelson said Bush's support for the hospital helped them expand and serve Maine's most vulnerable population. MMC estimates the Children's Hospital has more than 100,000 patient visits each year.

Bush was passionate about children's issues, health care and literacy.

At the University of New England, President James Herbert said they will carry on her legacy by continuing the George and Barbara Bush Distinguished Lecture series on the Biddeford Campus.

"Barbara Bush was a big part of the University of New England," said Herbert.

That relationship that goes back to the 1990s. Herbert said George H.W. and Barbara Bush used to dock their boat near the campus, and visit with students.

They helped design the George and Barbara Bush Center, the "intellectual hub" of the Biddeford campus. Inside the Bush Center is a museum-like room with Bush family photographs and mementos, including a set of Barbara's famous pearls.

"We created this room to really celebrate their legacy and their connection to the state of Maine," said Herbert.

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