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Billy Gene Bush, 89, of Carterville, passed away Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at Parkway Manor in Marion, surrounded by his loving family.
Billy was born at home in Herrin, on September 22, 1929, to Thomas Ray and Cecil Margaret (Wiggs) Bush.
He sang in the quartet at Walnut Baptist Church, where he was baptized as a youth. He was a 1947 graduate of Carbondale High School. Billy worked at New Era Dairy until he was drafted into the United States Army. He honorably served our country during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, where he earned the rank of Corporal and a Bronze Service Star.
Billy married the love of his life, Ruby Ellen Kessel, on July 27, 1957, and together they shared 61 years. He worked for Carbondale Concrete Brick and Block where he was employed for 39 years. After they retired, together they worked at Farm Fresh in Carterville.
Billy is survived by his wife, Ruby Ellen Bush of Carterville; daughters, Michelle (George) Sullivan or Marion, Mary Ann Bush of Allen, Texas (special friend, Jeff Hope of Marion) and Melinda (Scott) Shelton of Creal Springs; sons, Michael (Janice Smith) Bush of Marion and David (Julie Riley) Bush of Carterville; sister, Donna Ray (Wally) Ackerly of Mount Vernon; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and 2 great great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sons, Billy Ray Bush and Thomas Gene Bush; grandson, Luke Thomas Bush; and one great-granddaughter Braylee Richey.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, January 27, 2019, at Hillcrest Cemetery in Carterville, with Adam Isakson officiating. Military rites will be performed by the Carterville American Legion, Herrin V.F.W. and American Legion and Army National Guard Ritual Team. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Sunday, at Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Meals on Wheels Program.