Howard John “Jack” Bush, 87, of Sturgis, Mich., longtime Sturgis attorney, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, March 7, 2009, at his home with his wife and family at his side.
He was born March 24, 1921, in Fennville, Mich., a son to the late Dr. Howard J. and Edith (Phillips) Bush.
Mr. Bush had resided nearly his whole life in the Sturgis and Constantine area.
On June 15, 1952, he married Anna Marie Schmidt at the White Pigeon Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Richard Dunkleburger.
Mr. Bush graduated from Constantine High School with the class of 1938 and in 1944 he graduated from Michigan State College in East Lansing, Mich., where he received his B.S. degree. In 1942, Mr. Bush was inducted into the U.S. Army serving during World War II with the 18th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. His squadron was directly involved in the Battle of the Bulge and served under General George S. Patton. He was honorably discharged Dec. 9, 1945.
In 1948, he graduated from Detroit College of Law receiving his L.L.B. degree. That same year he was admitted to practice law and was appointed assistant prosecuting attorney for St. Joseph County. In 1950, he was appointed Friend of the Court for St. Joseph County. In 1952, he was appointed city attorney for the City of Sturgis and was also appointed to the St. Joseph County Board of Supervisors.
From 1954-1968, he held the position of municipal judge for the City of Sturgis. In 1976, he entered into a partnership with his brother Franklin P. Bush under the name of Bush & Bush. 1981 was a very special time for Mr. Bush as this was the year that he formed a professional corporation with his son John P. Bush. At the time of his death, Mr. Bush was the oldest member of the St. Joseph County Bar Association.
Mr. Bush had many associations and memberships throughout Sturgis and the State of Michigan some of which include a life member and past president of the St. Joseph County Bar Association. Other life memberships included the Michigan Bar Association, the American Bar Association and B.P.O. Elks #1381. He was an over 50 year member, past board member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis, he served over 20 years on the Sturgis Salvation Army Advisory Board, over 50 year member of the Sturgis Kiwanis Club, over 50 year member of Neuman-Wenzel Post #73 American Legion, longtime member and past president of the Klinger Lake Country Club and for over 17 years he had served on the Sturges Young Civic Center & Auditorium Board and he was a member of Sigma Nu Phi.
In 1992, he received the Community Volunteer of the Year award from the Sturgis Exchange Club and in 2000 he was named Sturgis Citizen of the Year.
Mr. Bush enjoyed playing golf, boating, sailing, playing the piano and organ and for the past several years he had become very involved in model railroading. He also truly enjoyed the many winters he and Anna spent in Florida.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 56 years, Anna; one son, John P. (Rita) Bush of Sturgis; one grandson, Andrew Bush of Sturgis; one niece, Dorothy Bush Kelly of Klinger Lake; one nephew, Howard J. Bush of Klinger Lake and several great-nieces and nephews and great-great-niece and -nephews.
His parents; granddaughter, Lucy Bush; and brother, Franklin P. Bush preceded him in death.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis where the memorial service celebrating the life of Howard J. Bush will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The Rev. Michael Wicks will officiate. Full military rites will be conferred by Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Army Honor Guard. Private entombment of the ashes will take place in the First Presbyterian Church Columbarium.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis is entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Bush’s memory consider the First Presbyterian Church, 1320 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the Sturgis Salvation Army, 105 N. Fourth St., Sturgis, MI 49091. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.