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William Franklin (Bill) Bush

Memorial services for William Franklin (Bill) Bush, 99, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 16, 2023, in the Rose Chapel of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mr. Bush passed away at 5:03 p.m., Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at his home.


He was born in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on October 4, 1923, to Maud and Arthur Bush.  He grew up milking cows by hand on the farm near Lisle, New York.  After graduating from Whitney Point High School, William (Bill) married his high school sweetheart, Beverly, and the young couple moved to a fruit ranch in southern California, away from the cold New York winters.  Bill began working as a carpenter and earned a Building Contractor’s license.  He built many beautiful custom homes in San Diego County.  As a young man, Bill enjoyed dancing to the big bands of the ‘40s.  A date with Beverly cost $1.00 – 50¢ to get into the dance and 50¢ for all-you-can-eat spaghetti.  He also liked to square dance and round dance.  As a member of the Roundoliers, he and his second wife, Ann, were involved in many dance events and demonstrations at Balboa Park in San Diego.  He was superb at waltzing.   Bill liked to build things and work on his metal lathe.  Among the many things he created were a wood-geared grandfather’s clock, furniture, a travel trailer, a small motor home, a full-size imitation Civil War canon, a twenty-foot windmill, and three trimaran sailboats, two of which he sailed in the Pacific Ocean.  At retirement, Bill and wife, Ann, moved to West Plains, Missouri.  Bill was a volunteer firefighter for Pumpkin Center Fire Department.  He helped other volunteers rebuild a local church that had been destroyed by fire.  As Bill became a community member, he was honored by being referred to as Uncle Bill.


He is survived by his daughter, Joan, Ava, Missouri; son, William Arthur and wife, Barbara, Honeydew, California; five grandchildren, Suzanne Wilson and husband, Don, Ridgedale, Missouri, Sharon Bennett and husband, Gorman, Buffalo, Missouri, Karen Riley and husband, Keith, West Plains, Missouri, Betta Peterson and husband, Scott, Chico, California, and Karen Jones and husband, Dave, Chico, California; seven great-grandchildren, Megan, Alexander, Logan, Abby, Emily, Keahna, and Anna; and three great-great-grandchildren, Kelli, Kiki, and newly-born Aurora, who has missed meeting her grandpa by only a few days.


He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, Robert, son-in-law, Fred, and three wives – Beverly, Ann, and Shirley.


Burial will be at Howell Memorial Park Cemetery at a later date.  Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO  65775. Online condolences may be expressed at