George H.W. Bush always reminded Richard E. Squires of his father.

“He (Bush) was up from the grassroots. He worked his way up as far as his occupation,” Squires, 85, a former Atlantic County executive, said Saturday. “I sort of looked up to him.”

Bush, who also served as a World War II Navy pilot, in Congress, as an ambassador and as CIA director before being vice president and president, died Friday at 94.

Squires met Bush once and was in a room with him another time.

They shook hands Oct. 22, 1992, at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township, where Bush arrived aboard Air Force One en route to a re-election campaign stop in Vineland.

Clad in a white raincoat and smiling broadly, Bush emerged from the Boeing 747 and waved to a crowd of several hundred who greeted him with warm cheers and applause.

Bush shook hands, signed autographs and posed for pictures with many of the airport well-wishers before departing by helicopter for Vineland.

Squires, then a top Republican as the Atlantic County executive, enthusiastically shook Bush’s hand and offered words of encouragement.

“I told him that we’re all behind him,” Squires said. “I also told him to keep at it.”

Bush’s helicopter landed at the Vineland Developmental Center, about 2 miles from the rally site. Though it was not officially open to the public, the chopper pad attracted a crowd.

He was introduced by then Republican congressional candidate, now retiring Congressman Frank LoBiondo.

After the rally, held in the center of downtown at Seventh Street and Landis Avenue, and a quick lunch at nearby Vineland Cold Cuts, Bush headed for another campaign stop in North Jersey.

Besides greeting Bush in October 1992, Squires remembers being in a room with the former president earlier that year during the summer at a campaign fundraiser at a private home in Longport.

“Secret Service had it all arranged which way would be the emergency exit because it was at a private house,” Squires said.

Squires recalls there being no more than 30 people at the private fundraiser, so it was higher-priced than normal. He did not have to pay because he was the county executive.

During the war in Somalia, also in the early 1990s, a group of residents from Atlantic and Cape May counties raised more than $50,000 to establish an orphanage in the small village of Baidoa in an attempt to feed, house and educate thousands of starving Somali children.

Robert Mullock, who was a Cape May insurance broker at the time, embraced the fundraising effort.