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Alfred Lee “Sam” Bush, 94, passed away Thursday, November 14, 2019 at Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital with his family at his side.

He was born April 10, 1925 in Coe Township and married Dawn L. House, who survives him, on August 2, 1947. Sam lovingly told everyone he had been married 26,402 days or 72 years at the time of his death. Sam is also survived by his son, Jeff & Kathy of DeWitt; daughter, Betsy & Craig Grace of Rogers City; son-in-law, Dave Dougherty of Boston, MA; and daughter-in-law, Valerie Bush of Evansville, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents JT and Lois Bush; brother, Russell; daughter, Nancy Dougherty; and son, Randy Bush. He was blessed with grandchildren Joslyn & Joshua Dunham, Joel & Lindsay Bush, Graham and Logan Doughtery, Becky Bush, Erica & Carlos Rendon, and Sarah and Ben Grace. They have many fond memories of spending time with Grandpa at his home in St. Louis, MI and the Higgins Lake cottage where his homemade ice cream was a regular. That tradition has continued with his great grandchildren, Caleb and Lucas Dunham, Frances and Bennett Bush, and Eloise Rendon. His extended family included two granddaughters, Kristi Gingrich of Brookfield, IL, and Sara & Dayton Driver of Charlotte, MI and two great granddaughters, Grace and Emily Driver.

Sam loved fishing, hunting, playing cards, traveling, singing in choirs and acting in plays. He built two boats including a 20-foot red, white and blue cabin cruiser that was well recognized on Higgins Lake. He also built two houses in St. Louis as well as the Higgins Lake cottage. He was a huge Detroit Tigers fan and was able to attend the last game at Tiger Stadium and called his son after every game to offer an analysis of each game. Sam currently lived independently with Dawn at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, MI where he entertained his many friends there with telling stories, jokes, giving them a hard time and offering his opinion. Sam retired as the manager at Chemical Bank in St. Louis, MI. He gave many years of service to the town of St. Louis, including being mayor, and was given the Spirit of St. Louis Award in 2004 for being the citizen of the year. Sam served as President or Chairman of many hospitals, civic and other boards in Gratiot County. He graduated from Alma College and was a proud Merchant Marine serving at the end of WWII. He was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church in St. Louis where he served on many committees and First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids.

Services will be held in the chapel at Clark Retirement Community, 1551 Franklin Street SE, Grand Rapids, on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 11:00 am. Entrance to the chapel is off Sherman Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, www.heifer.org/give/giving-in-honor.html or UMCOR, www.advance.umcor.org.

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, , Grand Rapids, MI 49548, honored providers of Veterans Funeral Care.

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5 Condolences

  1. Brenda Kyriakou on November 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Jeff and Kathy so sorry for you loss. He lived a long and happy life.. prayers for you all. Aunt Brenda



  2. Larry and Jeanne Kelly on November 18, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Our condolences to the entire Bush family.



  3. Pastor Terri on November 19, 2019 at 9:20 am

    My prayers are with the family but especially to Dawn during this difficult time without her hubby by her side. Dawn, I wish you could know how many people have called here to the church. Many are unable to drive to come to GR but they are praying for you and your family. Warm hugs and lots of prayers.



  4. Julie slabonek savage on November 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    My condolences to your family. Sorry for your loss, and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers



  5. Julie (Buchholz) Winkelstern on November 21, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    My sincerest sympathies to Dawn, Jeff, and Betsy and to the entire Bush family. Sam was always one of my mother’s (Rena) favorite cousins and could always make her laugh with his great sense of humor. I am very sorry for your loss.



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