Guerdon Bushnell

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Guerdon "Don" Bushnell

LAFAYETTE - Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 10:00 am for Guerdon "Don" Bushnell, 91, of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and formerly of Lafayette, Louisiana, who died at Great River Care Center, McGregor, Iowa on Friday, February 4, 2011.

Known to some as "Don", Guerdon was a passionate Christian, a soldier, a successful interior designer, a family man, and a pastor to many.

Born in 1919 to Ray Medley and Dorothy Marguerete Baer Bushnell of Platteville, Wisconsin, Guerdon was the oldest of eight children: Robert of Monroe, Louisiana who preceded him in death in 2008; Laurence of Pineville, North Carolina; Alice Markunas, Sterling, Illinois; Dorothy Ann Bennett, Spring Arbor, Michigan; Joanne Starr, Wheaton, Illinois;, Elizabeth Guyer, Lakeland, Florida. His youngest brother, Richard, of Seattle Washington, preceded him in death in 2007.

After a year at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, Wisconsin, Mr. Bushnell joined the Army National Guard in 1938. Called to active duty in October of 1940, he married Stella Garstka of Chicago, Illinois, thirteen days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and while stationed in Montgomery, Alabama, he was granted a transfer to the newly created Army Air Corps. Commissioned a 2ND Lt., Bushnell served as bombardier instructor during the war, writing the manual on "Fast Approach in Bombing a Target". He was honorably discharged as Captain from the Air Force National Reserves in 1952. Thus began his lifelong passion with aviation: he volunteered with the Lafayette Louisiana Cajun Wing of the Confederate Air Force.

In 1958 Guerdon received an associate interior design degree from the Chicago School of Interior Design and practiced his craft in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and in Monroe, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1990 he retired and put his full energy into ministry, receiving a Master of Theology, a Master of Divinity and finally Doctor of Ministry from the Christian Life School of Theology in New Iberia, Louisiana.

After the death of his first wife, he married Bette Rheel Knapp, former high school classmate and the widow of life-long friend, Don Knapp of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Relocating to Wisconsin, Guerdon and Bette both worked for Lori Knapp Companies where he used his interior design skills.

Guerdon was passionate about serving his Lord. In 1985 he formed the Springs of Living Water church in Lafayette, LA, where he changed many lives. He passionately pursued his Biblical studies and positively affected many people's lives up to the day of his death.

He is survived by his second wife, Bette Mae Rheel Knapp of Prairie du Chien and four children; Lorene Holbrook of Metairie, Louisiana, Chad Bushnell of Houston, Texas, Jerelyn Bushnell (Hoffpauir) and Debbie Bushnell Springer both of Lafayette, Louisiana; four grandchildren; three step-grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He also leaves behind an extensive Knapp family in Prairie du Chien.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, February 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Delhomme Funeral Home of Lafayette.

Family request that visiting hours be observed at Delhomme Funeral Home of Lafayette on Friday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm and on Saturday from 8:00 am until the time of services. Interment will take place in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

Pallbearers will be Rod Dolson, Chappy Holbrook, Sherif Ebrahim, Chapman Holbrook, Jason Bushnell and Patrick Bushnell. Honorary pallbearers will be Richard Broussard, Hugh Cole, Charles McGowan, Dexter LeDoux, Drew Rousse, Bill Walker, David Williams and Robert Votier.

Personal condolences may be sent to the Bushnell family at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503 or on-line at

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, LA, is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Funeral Home
Delhomme Funeral Home - Lafayette
1011 Bertrand Drive Lafayette, LA 70506
(337) 235-9449
Funeral Home Details
Published in the The Advertiser on Feb. 9, 2011
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