LAURENS – Donald R. Bush, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former mayor of Laurens, passed away peacefully on July 26, 2018, at Bassett Hospital after an extended illness.
Born, July 25, 1944, he was the son of Walter K. Bush and Olive (Spoor) Bush. Born and raised in Laurens, Don graduated from Laurens Central School in 1961. After graduating high school, Don worked at Phillips Buick in Oneonta.
On June 12, 1965, he married Ellen L. Bullis at the First Baptist Church in Oneonta.
On April 23, 1968 he entered the Army, stationed at Homestead AFB, Florida. From September 1968 to September 1969 he served his country in Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne as a helicopter rear gunner. Upon his Honorable Discharge on April 22, 1971, he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Upon his return from military service, Don had his own TV repair business. After many years, he closed his business and began work for the D&H Railroad and continued there until his retirement 20 years later.
Don was always extremely active in veteran affairs, was a current member of the Laurens American Legion and was past commander of the same. In the 1980s, Don served as mayor of Laurens for several years.
During their retirement, Don and Ellen spent several years living in the Sunsites Arizona area, where Don was also involved in the local VFW.
Don and Ellen enjoyed traveling extensively on their Harley Davidson, spending time in almost every state of the country.
Don was a quiet, gentle man who served and sacrificed for his country selflessly. He loved his family, his friends, and his country passionately. His kind heart, gentle soul, and radiant smile will be missed dearly by those who knew and loved him.
Don is survived by his son Donald Bush, Jr. (DJ) and his wife, Tisha, of Otego, as well as his son James Bush and his companion, Tammy Sperry, of Otego. Also surviving him are his grandchildren, Nicholas Bush, Corey Escobar, Tamara Bush and Rene Bush, as well as twin great-grandchildren. He leaves behind his twin brother, Douglas Bush (Joan) of Mount Vision, and brothers Wayne Bush of Mount Vision, Leslie Bush (Doreen) of Edmeston, and John Bush (Mary) of Hartwick, as well as several nieces and nephews. Also, sisters-in-law Elizabeth (Bill) Spade of Illinois, Donna Gravelin of Laurens, and Susan (Charles) Fix of Pennsylvania.
Don was predeceased by his dear wife of 51 years, Ellen, in November 2016. Also predeceasing him are his parents, Walter and Olive Bush; sister-in-law Joan (Wayne) of Hartwick; and brother-in-law, Bill (Donna) Gravelin of Laurens.
A military graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at the Laurens Cemetery, with a reception immediately following at the Laurens American Legion.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Laurens American Legion, 176 Main St., Laurens, NY 13796.
Arrangements are by the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta. Online guestbook is available at, www.lhpfuneralhome.com