William Austin Bush, a retired U. S. Army LTC, took his final flight toward the heavens on 7 September 2019.
He was born 16 October 1938 on the family farm near Ellisville, MS. He graduated from Jones County Junior College in 1958 and attended William Carey College in Hattiesburg, MS.
He was a member of the Mississippi National Guard which was activated during the Cuban Crisis. He spent over eleven years as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot serving among other places one year in Korea and two years in Vietnam. During his service in Vietnam, Bill was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among many other awards. Between Vietnam assignments Bill finished his education at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KS. After the Vietnam War he moved to Kansas and became a part of the Army Reserve in Wichita.
Bill retired from Boeing in 1995 and spent much of his time doing woodwork. He was a volunteer at the woodshop at McConnell AFB for several years and for the past few years was a volunteer with Kansas Honor Flight.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Myrtle (Westbrook) Bush; sister, Rachel Parker; and a daughter, Burnelia Bush.
On December 24, 1980 he married Phoebe Sue (Pantier) Ruggles Bush in Wichita and she survives. He is also survived by his children: Jeffrey Bush (Janet) of Charleston, SC, Jennifer Manning (Mike Weems) of Austin, TX, Beverly Ruggles Maness (Ron) of Wichita, KS, and Ronald Ruggles of Augusta, KS; grandchildren, Robert Manning of Austin, TX, Charlotte Manning of Daytona Beach, FL, Lesley Hodge Perrault (David) of Wichita, KS, Chad Maness (Amanda) of Valley Center, KS, Aurelie Ruggles and Lyle Ruggles both of Wichita, KS; and great grandsons, Austin Hodge, Cash, Cruz and Camp Maness.
Funeral service will be 10 a. m. Friday, September 13, 2019 at Headley Funeral Chapel, Augusta, KS. Burial will follow with full military honors at Elmwood Cemetery, Augusta, KS.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Kansas Honor Flight, c/o Herb Duncan, 814 N. Colorado, Wichita, KS 67212. This organization was very dear to Bill and on which he was able to make the trip before starting on dialysis several years ago. He considered it a fitting tribute to all those who have served our great nation in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.