Ruby Ellen (Kessel) Bush

February 10, 1938 ~ June 15, 2019 (age 81)


Ruby Ellen Bush, 81, of Carterville, passed away from this life, in her home, surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

Ruby was born February 10, 1938, in Ava, to Herbert Kessel and Mary (Browder) Kessel. She was proud of having been raised on farms located both on Dry Hill and in the Jacob bottoms. Ruby attended Gorham High School. She married the love of her life, Billy Gene Bush, on July 27, 1957, in Corinth, Mississippi. They were wed for over 61 years until Billy preceded her in death on January 23, 2019. Billy and Ruby, along with their seven children made Carterville their home in the fall of 1969.

Ruby was an extremely hard worker with an incredible work ethic. Her work history included employment at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, Herrin Hospital, Reynolds Market, Meis Department Store, and Carterville Farm Fresh- where most of Carterville became acquainted with her.

She was known for both her quick wit and sharp criticism, and just plain saying what she thought. Throughout the years her loves of life, other than family itself, were her nearly daily trips to the refuge with her husband; her trips to Dollar General; her coffee; Honey Buns; and of course, her Salem menthols; but, perhaps most importantly, her family photo collection.

She is survived by her 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; siblings, Fred (Jane) Kessell, Grace Kessel and Billie Kessel; sister-in-law, Donna Ray (Wally) Ackerly of Mount Vernon; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and 2 great great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sons, Billy Ray Bush and Thomas Gene Bush; grandson, Luke Thomas Bush; great-granddaughter Braylee Richey; sister, Ella Guetersloh.

Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 19, 2019,  at Hillcrest Cemetery in Carterville, with her son-in-law, George Sullivan officiating. Visitation will be from noon to 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville.

Memorial contributions can be made to Meals on Wheels Program or to Hospice of Southern Illinois.  



To send flowers to Ruby's family, please visit our floral section.


June 19, 2019

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home
322 North Division
Carterville, IL 62918

Graveside Service
June 19, 2019

1:00 PM
Hillcrest Cemetery
Willow Street
Carterville, IL Illinois 62918


Hospice of Southern Illinois
204 Halfway Road, Marion IL 62959

Meals on Wheels Program
1201 Weaver Road, Herrin IL 62948

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