Community mourns for Dr. Bush
Published 4:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The passing of the Rev. Dr. Ellis Bush, Sr. on Sept. 11, brought his family both great sadness and comfort in knowing the patriarch had “walked on into heaven.”
“I don’t know of a finer man anywhere than Dr. Ellis Bush, Sr.’” said Jacqueline Floyd. “The first time I heard him pray I knew he was someone very special. I knew he was someone that could touch lives because he was so genuine, so real. Dr. Bush was a good man. His goodness came through in everything he did. He was a genuine, natural, sincere, good person and he touched my life in so many ways.”
Floyd said she started going to church at Calvary Baptist with her dad, Dr. Jack Brantley, and Dr. Bush was also an influence her dad’s life.
“When my husband Jerry Floyd died,” Dr. Bush was such a blessing to me,” she said. “I’m sure everyone who knew Dr. Bush would say what a blessing he was to them.”
Jim O’Neal said he and Dr. Bush were from the same era and were good friends and close friends for many years.
“Ellis was a solid Christian and a wonderful individual,” O’Neal said. “He had a wonderful career in God’s ministry and served in many capacities all over the United States. When he retired from fulltime ministry, he came back to Troy and served as interim pastor at First Baptist Church and did a wonderful job. He was a wonderful, compassionate, outgoing individual and we are all going to miss him.”
O’Neal said he was thankful, too, that Dr. Bush was able to be at home throughout his illness and enjoy the farm.
“Ellis and Juanita loved being on the farm,” he said. “Ellis Jr. would take him on rides through their Treasure Forest on the golf cart. Ellis loved being at ‘the cabin’ and he continued to enjoy having visitors. He never lost his joy for life.”
Virginia Bush said, for as long as she knew him, her brother-in-law had a zest for life.
“There were six boys in the Bush family and only one girl,” Bush said. “Ellis was a joy to be around. He was always happy. He was a witty, happy-go-lucky kind of person, especially around his family. But he was always serious about his ministry. Ellis was a strong Christian and he was devoted family man. He loved Juanita and the children and grandchildren, all the family. Ellis just loved people.”
Bush said Dr. Bush’s father, the Rev. W.M Bush, was the minister at Southside Baptist Church when the church started Bush Memorial Chapel in Troy. So, the Bush family has been a strong Christian influence in Troy for many years.
“We will miss Ellis because of who he was — a wonderful Christian whose influence was far reaching and will continue to be through his works,” she said.
Beth Jernigan said words aren’t adequate to describe the impact Dr. Ellis Bush, Sr. had on those around him.
“Dr. Bush was a wonderful person,” Jernigan said.
“He was with me when my mother died and he helped me through a really rough time. He was a wonderful, caring person and I’m sure all of those who knew him will say the same thing. He became a father figure to me and I’ll never forget him.”
Bert Fridlin, a member of Calvary Baptist Church, said he too will never forget Dr. Ellis Bush, Sr., and not just because he was the pastor who kept Calvary Baptist Church open from 2004 to 2013 but he will be missed because of the man he was and the example he set.
“At Calvary Baptist, we owe a lot to Dr. Bush for keeping the church open and alive,” Fridlin said. “And, he was a great man. He knew the Bible and expressed it well on Sunday mornings and was caring and compassionate when he conducted funerals.”
Fridlin said he was witness to the love Dr. Bush and his wife, Juanita, shared.
“The love was always there but it was especially evident during the months when Juanita was his wife and caretaker,” he said. “Dr. Bush was a great man and a wonderful Christian. He was loved and he will be missed by all who knew him.”
A celebration of Dr. Bush’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Bush Memorial Baptist Church.