Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home and Crematory

3800 West Walnut, PO Box 328, Rogers, AR


Phone: 479-636-2412

Roger Andrew Bushee

Bella Vista, AR

1925 - 2013

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Published: January 8, 2013

Roger Andrew Bushee was born on Dec. 11, 1925, in the home of Glenn and Lillian Bushee, 12110 S. Eggleston Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Roger graduated from Fenger High School in June 1943. He finished one semester of college at Wilson Junior College in Chicago before going into the U.S. Army at age 18. He saw service in France and Germany, including The Battle of the Bulge, as part of General George Patton's Army. He went into the infantry as a private and emerged a staff sergeant and received The Purple Heart. Additionally, Roger was an Honorary Colonel of the 95th Infantry Division. With five Army buddies, he created the WWII Memorial Museum in the 95th Infantry Training Center near Tinker Air Force Base at Oklahoma City, Okla.

Roger lived his adult life in Palos Heights, Ill., where he was a lay-leader in the United Methodist Church. He devoted 40 years to the Palos Heights Fire Department, including eight years as a paramedic. Through the years he served every rank, including chief and trustee the last 10 years. In the city of Palos Heights, July 19 is "Roger and Maxine Bushee Day" in recognition of Roger's leadership and legacy.

Roger and Maxine married June 20, 1947, in a double-wedding ceremony in their childhood church, West Pullman Methodist Church at 120th St. and Normal Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Roger was a newspaper pressman, working at many Chicago papers including The Chicago Tribune, The Daily News, The Chicago Sun-Times, the Photogrouvure (where magazines were printed) and the Herald American Color Plant at 26th and Canal in Chicago, where they printed the color funnies and sent them to their different plants from New York to California. The last 20 years, he worked at The Hammond Times in Hammond, Ind.

He also was a real estate broker in Illinois, an appraiser and a partner in the Jay-Bush Realty in Palos Heights, Ill.

Roger and Maxine retired to Bella Vista, Ark., on May 31, 1991. They volunteered at the Gravette, Ark., Hospital and sang in the choir at the Highlands United Methodist Church. Roger served as president of the Bella Vista Ambulance Service.

Roger volunteered at the Sheriff's Office. He was on the board of directors for Arvest Bank. Roger sang with SPEBSQSA (Barbershoppers) as a young man and rejoined in Arkansas. Roger played trombone in the Bella Vista Community Band. The band had 18 members in 1992; in 2009 they numbered 60 members.

Roger had two massive strokes in December 2002. He could not walk and remained in a wheelchair living at the Highlands Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at 670 Rogers Road, Bella Vista, until his death on Jan. 5, 2013.

On Oct. 17, 2009, Roger was privileged to be one of 92 WWII veterans flown to Washington, D.C., by the Honor Flight Program. Honor Flight takes WWII veterans to visit the WWII Memorial which was dedicated in 2004. Roger talked about this unforgettable experience often. The cost of this Honor Flight was underwritten by Tyson Foods and Walmart Corporation.

Roger is survived by wife of 65 years, Maxine Smith Bushee; and their three daughters, Debra Bradley (James Rosenbaum), Penney Miller (Kenneth Miller) and April Arambasich (Thomas Arambasich); three grandchildren, Derek Andrew Wolfe, Claire Elise Rosenbaum and Leah Frances Rosenbaum; two step-grandchildren, Adam Miller and Alivia Miller Keg (Andrew); three step-great-grandsons; one niece, RuthAnn Bushee Autrey of Phoenix, Ariz.; and one nephew, Ramon Elcanah Bushee of Greenville, Texas.

He is predeceased by his parents; brother, Lt. Ramon G. Bushee; and brother, Theodore A. Bushee.

Always a gentleman, Roger loved animals, flowers, music, people and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Memorial services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at Highlands Church of Bella Vista.

As a memorial to Roger, donations may be made to Highlands Church, 371 Glasgow Road, Bella Vista, AR 72715.

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