William Henry Bush

God blessed Deacon William Henry Bush Sr. with a long amazing life of 103 years. God saw him getting tired and longed to be with the love of his life, Mother Nona Lea McRae Bush, so he put his arms around you and whispered “Come to me”.

He was born March 23, 1919, to Liddia Randall and Floyd Allen Bush Sr. in the St. Paul Community. On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, the Lord called the kind spirit of Deacon William Henry Bush Sr. home from a long earthly journey, to a home of glory.

Deacon Bush would often reminisce about his childhood and young adult life working on the Priddy Farm, Arthur Todd Place, and Davis Place. While attending school in Locust Bayou, he worked on the farm with his dad. He talked about how he chopped cotton all day for 30 cents. He was very fond of a pair of horses and mules that he had trained and often chided that everyone tried to buy them. Many times he told the story of how he acquired the nickname “Jack” which was well-known by family, friends, and co-workers.

He was united in holy matrimony to Nona Lea McRae on December 25, 1938. To this union, nine children were born and another son was added. Three of the nine children: Clara Mae Bush, Ethel Dean Edington, and Jo Ellen Bush preceded him in death. His loving wife, Mother Nona Lea Bush of 83 years, preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were his parents, Liddia Randall and Floyd Bush; grandchildren, Gail Ann Golden and Michael “Peter” Golden; great-granddaughter, Wykeshia Edington; brothers, James “Jet” Bush, Floyd Allen Bush Jr., Robert “Fat Boy” Bush and other brothers; sisters, Maudie Lee “Sang” McRae, Lema Mae Bush, Willie Mae Williams, and other sisters, in-laws, and a host of relatives and friends.

In June 1944 he entered the United States Navy and served on a ship in Portland, Maine. After returning home from the Navy he was employed by Sparkman Lumber Company in Sparkman. Later he worked for Pace Defense Company and Baldwin Electronics in East Camden. Employed by Laron Smith, he hauled shavings across Arkansas and other surrounding states. He also worked for Potlatch in Warren for many years. After retiring from Potlatch, he worked for the Green Thumb Program in Hampton.

“Jack”, as Deacon Bush was affectionately known, was a strong and independent man. He was a good cook and a very neat and sharp dresser. Being passionate about music, he taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica. He was kind to everyone and willing to help anybody in need. He often mowed and cleaned yards for the sick and elderly without charge. He and Mother Bush reared several grandchildren in their home. “Jack” loved hunting, gardening, and working in the yard until he reached his early 90’s. He and his wife always had an immaculate yard and a beautiful garden. They also kept the church clean and the lawn manicured until their health failed.

He served under many pastors at Locust Bayou COGIC, Harrell COGIC, then Hampton COGIC, now known as Greater Grace- Hampton COGIC. In the church, he served as a trustee, finance officer, deacon, and musician. God blessed Deacon Bush with the gift of praying for the sick and they received healing and deliverance. He loved to praise the Lord and would shout and dance in the spirit. His favorite song was “You’ve Got to Move”.

He leaves to cherish his memories seven children, Loistene Golden, Mary Catherine Stephens, Rita Junior (Robert Lee) of Harrell; Betty Tatum (Larry) of Banks; Linda Roshell and William H. Bush Jr., Earnest Lee Bush (Shirley); granddaughter, Patricia Bush that he raised as his own; 25 grandchildren; 59 great-grandchildren; 67 great-great-grandchildren; five great-great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Services are under the direction of Mitchell Funeral Home of Arkadelphia. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday, October 28, from noon to 6 p.m. Funeral services will be on Saturday, October 29, at 1 p.m. at the Hampton High School Gymnasium in Hampton. The burial and final resting place will be in St. Paul Cemetery in Hampton. 

Categories: Obituaries

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