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Howard J. Bush Jr. Obituary
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May 26, 2018

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May 26, 2018

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February 11, 2011
In December of last year, we visited Michigan with my two kids and wife, Trang. It was Trang's first time to meet the family, and while there we visited Dad's grave on a snowy, but lovely day. Trang fell instantly in love with Mom and my one wish while there is that she would have had the opportunity to meet Dad in person. Since our return, I have been telling stories about Dad, trying to give her and the kids more of a sense of what kind of person, father, and grandfather he was.

One memory of Dad surfaced after we left the cemetery on that snowy day and drove past Sugarloaf Lake. When I was around 12 or 13, Dad took me fishing on Sugarloaf. We purchased some bait (nightcrawlers) and rented a boat at the little store on the lake. We fished for hours with minimal results and when the bait was running out, decided to head back. I pulled in my pole and Dad instructed me to row back leisurely while he trolled with the last worm. Not far from the dock he had a big bite and after a brief struggle pulled in a large bass (later turned out to be 15+ in). We got pretty excited and Dad quietly told me to row really slow as he threw out his line with about one third of a worm attached to a single hook on the harness. He said he wanted to get the big brother of the fish he had just caught. Sure enough, a few seconds later something big hit the line, and this time the struggle lasted awhile. As Dad maneuvered the fish to the side of the boat we could see it was quite a bit larger than the previous one. As he pulled it out, to me it looked like nothing short of a monster (later turned out 18+ in.)! What I remember most over these many years is how happy Dad was to catch those fish the he did. On the way home he kept saying, wow, we caught those on the last nightcrawler! I remember he made me feel very much part of it by praising my calm and patient rowing.

I was fortunate to have a handful of good times fishing with Dad, but this on in particular stands out in my memory.

- Dan Bush
May 24, 2008
I quoted Dad the other day on something that stuck with me all these years. One might expect that Dad would not have had much patience with adolescent struggles, but on more than one occasion when some issue came up, he would say that it was not easy being a teenager. That used to strike me because I assumed that he would always side with the adult. But I think he had a pragmatic attitude when it came to personal issues--that life wasn't always easy and though we may make mistakes, we must try to learn from them and do the best we can, however imperfect. I hope I can employ that same attitude as my own children grow into young adulthood.
May 7, 2008
Yesterday makes 5 years since dad has been gone. I sure do miss his down-to-earth attitude about most things. If only more people had his level of integrity; the world would be a better place.

Missing your stories and laughter, Dad!
December 19, 2007
Tomorrow is Dad's 89th birthday. Lately I've been remembering the times that Dad helped me out on my various home repair projects after he retired.

Neither of us had much carpentry experience yet he was there for me when I replaced the center beam under my house on a cold day in January in 1981. He assisted me for nearly 18 hours through what was the most dangerous and tiring day of my life.

A year and a half later we spent 4 - 15 hour days over a 10 day period removing the old siding and putting up new plywood sheathing on that same house. Each of the 4 days we took only one break at midday for about 30 minutes and consumed many cheeseburgers. He also had a 45 minute drive at each end of those long work days. A few months later Mom told me that he was exhausted when he got home after helping me.

The home repairs that we did together remind me of the times when I was a teenager that he would hit the softball to me (just the two of us) for hours out in the big yard. He would hit it short, then deep, then to the left, then to the right trying to tire me out. Neither one of us would admit to the other that we were exhausted and wanted to quit.

I am not sure if that kind of persistence comes from being stubborn or proud, but am glad that I got some of it from my dad.