TRAVERSE CITY — An only child, John Arthur Bush was born May 1, 1923, to William McKinley Bush and Florence Viola (Lehnert) Bush in Bowling Green, Ohio. He died gently and peacefully with family at his side July 22, 2013, in Traverse City.
Between those dates, his life was full and interesting. While enduring the Great Depression he developed a passion for reading and a love of music, especially the big band genre. He learned to play the piano and trombone and sang in a children’s choir.
His mother died when he was 14. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, proudly serving during World War II in Texas, Puerto Rico and Kansas as a parachute rigger.
He met a Navy Wave named Marie Irene Mitchell who became his wife of 59 years. Their three children are Vicki Lynne Bush, Florence Jean (Joe) Miazgowicz and Donald Lee Bush. They stressed the value of education and took great pride in their children and grandchildren each receiving college degrees. They took their children on numerous family trips, passing on to them their love of travel and adventure.
John spent most of his working years in the office of trucking companies in various job capacities. He retired at age 58, and he and Marie moved to Lakes of the North. John loved its beauty and solitude and having time to fly his Stinson airplane and play golf. Retirement allowed them to travel extensively and to spend time with their three granddaughters, Britt Marie, Tess Andra and Caroline Lynne, in Florida.
In 1998 they moved to Traverse City to secure more medical services for Marie who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. John cared for her at home for many years.
After Marie’s death in 2004 John continued his adventures with rides in a hot air balloon, sail plane and sea plane. He traveled to Europe twice with his daughters. Even after his cancer diagnosis in September he spent Christmas in Florida. He visited Washington, D.C. with his son and spent his 90th birthday on a Mississippi River paddleboat trip.
His family and friends gathered in June for a 90th birthday celebration. He relished the opportunity to reminisce and answer family questions.
John and Marie’s ashes will be placed in Fort Custer military cemetery with full military honors at a later date.