LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Larry Joe Bushman hammered into his kids “If you’re going to do something, do it right” so we feel great pressure to write the best obituary that ever was.
Joe arrived in Frankfort, Ind., on July 14, 1939, the youngest son of Electa and Clarence Bushman. They, with help from his brothers Chuck and Virgil, and baby sister Virginia, have no doubt been lobbying for years to get Dad into heaven. When he left August 15, it’s his turn to convince St. Peter to open the gates for brother Harry and sisters Barbara, Vi and Dee (he’s going to have to do a lot of talking for Harry but we know he’ll make it happen).
After all, he convinced his “old lady” Peggy Jeanne Newkirk to marry him and she put up with him for almost 54 years. The ultimate practical joker, he unleased four kids on the world — Genevieve (Jen) Lynn Rubinowitz of Rockport, Texas, Rita Jo Ledington of Aviston, Ill., Bonnie Marie House and Joe Alan Bushman, both of London. He also gave fatherly support and advice to countless young friends and cousins in need through the years but we don’t have the space to list you all.
He enjoyed torturing anyone (but especially grandchildren) within reach with head locks and ‘Wet Willies.’ If you don’t know what those are, we sure aren’t going to tell you. After years of therapy, the cycle stops here. In recovery now are 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren scattered across Kentucky, Virginia, Florida, Illinois and Texas. Every great-grandchild born in the family rocked in cradles that Dad hand-made.
He worked (and made his kids work) way too hard than we thought was absolutely necessary while managing commercial poultry farms in Indiana and Kentucky. He then spent another 25 years at Cook Brothers Auto Parts in London as “The Paint Man.”
We never through he’s retire but when he finally did, the woodworking tools stayed active and no fish was safe when Dad was in the vicinity. He was never happier than on a lake somewhere with a pole in his hand and bait in the water. He knew two settings on his boat’s throttle — “Stop” and “Go Really Fast.” Sons-in-law only imagined he was trying to throw them overboard with those sharp turns at high speed — it’s not his fault if they weren’t holding on, he was just in a hurry to get to his favorite fishin’ holes on Laurel and Dale Hollow lakes.
You can visit him one more time at London Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Friday and join us on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. at the funeral home for the service with Dale Wyatt officiating.
Pallbearers will be Joe Bushman, Marty Ledington, Cody House, Jon Meadows, Josh Ledington, Kevin House and Dwayne Morgan.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Kosair Charities (kosair.org) in Louisville, Ky.
Thanks to all the folks at Saint Joseph’s hospital, Tri-County Hospice and London Funeral Home for all the love and laughter at the end.