|Bud Bush seen in this 2010 file photo was a relentless pursuer of Henry County history. C-T File photo
By DARREL RADFORD
Henry County history lost one of its best friends this week.
Bud Bush, a U.S. Army veteran who continued to fight for forgotten Henry County cemeteries long after he fought for his country, died Monday at the age of 71.
Bud kept fighting until the end, in spite of health problems. He had lost part of a leg but never his enthusiasm for local history. In spite of physical limitations, he was always on a relentless quest to find out genealogical information for Henry County families or to preserve local cemeteries.
Just last week, he was doing what he’d done countless times – delivering information to the Henry County Historical Society museum.
“I never saw him act like he was burdened with his health problems or overcome by them,” Donna Tauber, chair of the cemetery commission Bud helped to create, said Wednesday night. “He wouldn’t complain about how bad he felt, only what it was keeping him from doing.”
“He’s probably helped people from all over the United States retrace their family history,” Mike Burch, a member of the cemetery commission and Prairie Township trustee, said of Bush. “He still came to our meetings, even though his health had deteriorated.”
Tauber said Bud was instrumental in Henry County becoming the 18th Indiana county to establish a cemetery commission.
Joann Shell, a part-time employee at the historical society museum, said Bush’s efforts would forever be a part of research materials at the facility.
“He discovered the enrollment list of Civil War veterans from Henry County,” Shell said. “He and I would go to the courthouse with Marianne Hughes and search through books. He put together a 1997 book about cemeteries of Henry County, a book we use quite a lot here.”
“He located some cemeteries we didn’t even know existed,” Hughes added.
The painstaking poring through county records was something Bud really loved, Tauber remembered.
“He loved a good mystery,” Tauber said. “I have seen him work months to try and solve an inquiry from someone about their ancestor.”
Bush created and maintained a website for genealogical research. Hughes remembered many occasions when she would team with Bush to look for something new to add on his web page.
“He’s an institution,” Burch said. “Just an unbelievable guy. He had a real passion for these old cemeteries and found some that were on the verge of being plowed up because people didn’t know they were there.
“Bud inspired me to re-do four of the old cemeteries here in Prairie Township,” Burch continued. “He will be sorely missed.”
On Bud’s Facebook page, friends are leaving remembrances and tributes for their friend. Beth Drysdale Pribble called Bush a “great gift to history and inspiration to all.”
Mark Kreps of Muncie posted “One great man who did so much, for the generations to come, for the generations long past and for everyone he knew.”
Friend Sheila Brown Moses of New Castle wrote that “earth’s loss is now heaven’s gain … you’re flying with the angels.”
C-T Neighbors Editor Donna Cronk contributed to this report.