William M. "Bill" Bush Sr.

Posted Friday, January 30, 2009

William M. “Bill” Bush Sr., 82, a native of Lafayette, La., and a resident of Thibodaux, La., left this world peacefully in the arms of his Savior Jesus Christ Tuesday, January 27.

He is survived by his wife, Rayetta Bush; sons, Bill Bush Jr. and wife Brenda, Mike Bush and wife Pam, and Chris Bush and wife Kelley; daughters, Becky Melancon, Bonnie Craft and husband Cliff, and April Howell and husband Eric; brother, Jerry Bush Sr.; grandchildren, Mandy Graves, Brent Bush, Aimee Melancon, Andre Melancon, Lindsey Bush, Jeremy Craft, Chris Craft, Emily Bush, Bryan Bush and Sarah Bush; and great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Bush.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Alice Bush; brother, Herbert Bush Jr.; and son-in-law, George Melancon Jr.

He was born on May 15, 1926, in Lafayette to Herbert and Alice Bush. He and his wife, Rayetta, had just moved to North Richland Hills, Tx., from Thibodaux, where they had lived for 53 years. Bill proudly signed up as an early volunteer to serve his country during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Silver Bell as a signalman second class on tour in the Philippines and Western Pacific.

After completing his service, he returned to Lafayette and married Rayetta Romaine. He and Rayette celebrated their 61st anniversary on January 4. A fourth generation railroad man, Bill started his career with Southern Pacific in 1943 as a blue print boy. Through dedication and hard work, he retired 33 years later in 1978 as assistant division engineer -track. He started a second career with a newly formed railroad construction company, Trac-Work Inc. He retired for good in 1989 as chairman of the board-emeritus.

A devout Catholic, he devoted much of his time, energy, and resources to St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Thibodaux. He served on many committees and was chairman of the parish fair on several occasions. He was also instrumental in developing the “Renew” Stewardship Program for the church. Bill was proud of his south Louisiana heritage. He was a member of the Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department, Protector No. 2. He was chairman of the annual Fireman’s Fair on several occasions as well. On December 16, 2003, he was bestowed the honor of Mayor for the Day by the Thibodaux City Council.

For Bill, God, family and community were important parts of his life.

His wife, children, grandchildren, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, and just recently a great-grandchild, were great sources of joy for him. He spent countless hours at school plays, dance recitals, football, baseball, soccer and volleyball games, graduations, weddings, baptisms and reunions. His enthusiasm and participation were special to all who knew him as well. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Genevieve Catholic Church and/or Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge, 2609 River Road, New Orleans, La. 70121.

Visitation will be 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, January 31, at St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Thibodaux with mass to follow. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Thibodaux Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.