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Robert ‘Bob’ Bernard Bush – News – The Hutchinson News

Robert ‘Bob’ Bernard Bush, 58,of Hutchinson, died Oct. 12, 2020, at Hospice House of Reno County. Bob was born in 1962, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. to a career Marine Corps family. He was the youngest of six children of Maj. Clayton O. Bush and Mary Bush.

In 1996, Bob married Ann Stephens in Denver. In 1997, they moved to Hutchinson, to join the Stephens family business, City Beverage. In 2000, Bob and Ann welcomed their son Jack Clayton to the family. In 2004, Ann and Bob purchased the business from John and Peg Stephens. Bob continued to participate in the business until his admission into Hospice on Oct. 8.

Bob was a civic-minded citizen and community booster, serving two terms on the Hutchinson City Council and one term as Reno County Commissioner. Bob Served as the mayor of Hutchinson in 2009 and 2013, Bob was most proud of the recruitment of the Siemen’s wind manufacturing plant to Hutchinson during his tenure as mayor. He continued attending county commission meetings right up until the end, even participating by phone from various medical appointments.

Bob had a big heart, a big drive and dove into everything he did with enthusiasm and a smile. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma five-and-a-half years ago, but didn’t let his disease define him. He continued to work and to play as hard as he could. He was an avid golfer, who often organized outings and trips with his buddies, encouraging even the most reluctant to take time out from their schedules to spend time with friends on the course. Those who couldn’t were pushed to join them at the 19th hole.

He also took up CrossFit in recent years, reveling in the intense workouts and close camaraderie of those who partake.

His disease emphasized the importance of blood donations, and he helped organize a blood drive on Sept. 28 at City Beverage. In recent weeks, he arranged for local artist Mike Livingston to provide paintings for the oncology waiting area at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center.

He was always intensely curious, and those who engaged in conversation with him quickly learned they couldn’t get by with platitudes. He had a way of encouraging them to challenge their own assumptions, and usually come to better conclusions or decisions.

Bob graduated from Air Academy High School, USAFA, Colo., in 1980. He graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., with a bachelor’s degree in social work. While at CSU, Bob was an active member of the Sigma Epsilon Fraternity and ardent supporter of Ram Football. His love of the Rams continued on, many a time waking Ann when yelling at the team on the television late at night.

He earned a master’s in Business Management from Regis University in Denver in 1994.

Following graduation from Colorado State, Bob worked at Samaritan House Homeless Shelter in downtown Denver, an experience that helped color his life. Bob went on to work for the Jefferson County DA’s office, administering its victim’s compensation program, then spent years working for the state of Colorado, administering the statewide Victim’s Compensation Fund for victims of violent crime.

Bob was a supporter of the arts in the community, donating bronze sculpture to the library, the city office, parks and zoo. In addition, he sponsored a wall scape in downtown Hutchinson.

Bob was a member of AMBUCs, served on the board of the Cosmosphere, and aided many non-profits in their fundraising activities. Bob served on the executive committee for the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association and on the National Beer Wholesaler’s Association.

Bob enjoyed travel, exploring most of the United States and Europe with friends and family on business and pleasure trips.

Bob is survived by his wife, Ann; son, Jack, of Lawrence; brother, Mark (Cindy), Parker, Colo.; sisters, Barbara Bush, Newport, Ore., Betty Bush (Tom) of Aurora, Colo., and Mary McCutchen of Denver; niece, Brae Phillips (Chip) of Berthoud, Colo.; nephews, Kyle (Tina) McCutchen of Ecuador, and Brandon Bush (Roxy) of The Woodlands,, Texas; great nieces, Sydney McCutchen, Madalyn and Bonnee Phillips; and great nephew Clay Bush.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Clay and Mary Bush; brother, Clay Bush and brother-in-law Bill Bullard.

With his multiple myeloma, Bob required frequent blood transfusions, so in lieu of flowers, he asked that friends donate blood to their local Red Cross.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a private memorial service will be held at First Congregational Church, Hutchinson, with Pastor Matt Stafford officiating. A public ‘Come and Go Celebration of Life’ gathering will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020, at the Main Street Event Center, 2 N. Main, Hutchinson. Social distancing and masks will be required at the Main Street Event Center. Friends may sign the book from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Elliott Mortuary.

Memorials may be sent to First Congregational Church, The Hutchinson Art Center, or Hospice House of Reno County in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.

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