Pamela Sue “Pam” Bush, 60, of Bethalto, died Jan. 2, 2013, at her home, while in the loving and compassionate care of her family and SSM Hospice.
Hospitalized on Christmas Day and following emergency surgery on Dec. 26, her cause of death was a universally fatal form of brain cancer.
Pamela was born Nov. 11, 1952, in Danville, to Frances and Glen Jones, well-known restaurant owners and members of that community.
Pamela enjoyed immensely the life she shared growing up with her older sister, Glenda, and her younger sister, Lisa. All three girls attended Danville schools and graduated proud Vikings of Danville High. Pamela was active in school events, especially enjoying swimming, dancing and singing in the school’s various choirs and musical productions, especially “Moments Musical.” She enjoyed life with her many friends, spending many summer days boating on Lake Vermilion in Danville, attending her family’s church and engaging in many other childhood activities.
Pamela attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. It was there she met her future husband, Richard Dale Bush, a Ph.D. graduate student in political science. The young couple enjoyed many activities together, with the most informative and adventuresome being a summer spent hitchhiking through the western United States.
Married on Oct. 27, 1972, in Pamela’s home church, St. James United Methodist Church, the couple spent 40 wonderful years of marriage together. Residing in several communities as her husband pursued his career in academia, the couple spent their earliest years together not only in Danville but also in Dixon, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in Signal Mountain — Chattanooga, Tenn., and finally the last 27 years in Edwardsville and Bethalto. While in the Metro East area, Pamela returned to school and completed a degree in kinesiology and education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, graduating in 1991.
Mrs. Bush worked for Riverbend Head Start and Family Services in Alton for 15 years, retiring in 2008. Since her retirement, she served as a regular substitute school teacher, primarily for the elementary schools in Bethalto.
She was a member and regular volunteer at several local churches during her lifetime, active in the Wood River Women’s Club and a regular volunteer for a divergent number of other community nonprofit organizations. Pamela was most proud of her family and her contributions to and for them. A loving and caring mother and a supportive and faithful wife to her husband, she molded and raised four exceptional children — Caleb, 39, Seth, 35, Sarah, 33, and Hannah, 30. She poured heart and soul into supporting and making sure her children were instilled with important values and other resources necessary for discovering and successfully pursuing their individual interests.
Her life was enriched in recent years by the addition of daughter-in-law Liz (Caleb); and grandchildren, Jonah, 4, and Nora, 1; daughter-in-law Kristin (Seth), and grandchildren, Zelia, 2, and James, 1; and son-in-law David (Sarah). All survive along with daughter Hannah and husband, Richard. Caleb’s family lives in Marshfield, Wis. Seth’s family lives in Albuquerque, N.M. Sarah and Dave live “down the road” in Fosterburg. Hannah resides at the family home in Bethalto.
Pamela loved life and lived with joy, an ever-present smile and a deep concern and commitment to others, especially children and parents in want or need. She loved all the seasons, especially the springtime for its own beauty and her chance to grow the flowers she so loved and with which she surrounded her home.
Summer was a time for many of her favorite activities, and fall was for its many colors and trips to the Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana. Winter was for the Christmas season and displaying her collection of handcrafted ornaments and decorations, collected first as a little girl and then throughout her life.
Pamela found great satisfaction in her friends and her summer lap swimming at the Wood River pool. Her other favorite activities included riding bikes on area trails with her husband, walking at Gordon Moore or Culp Lane Park with family and others, traveling to regional and national parks in the west and east with family, and “girl trips” to Boca Grande, Fla., with her sisters and mother.
In recent years, Pamela also found great enjoyment visiting new places outside the continental U.S., including trips with her husband to Istanbul, Turkey, Siena, Italy, and the Hawaiian Islands.
She possessed a tremendous zest for life and a spirit of adventure that began in her youth, continued during her marriage and motherhood and remained part of her life and her spirit right up to her untimely and unfortunate death.
As a deeply spiritual woman, a believer in the Christian faith and a wonderful human being in every sense, Pamela has passed on to be with her mother and her Maker. Her husband, Rich, will miss his lovely wife, Pamela, for the rest of his own life, and her children will greatly miss their beautiful mother for all she gave and meant to them.
Her surviving sisters, Glenda and Lisa, will also miss her tremendously. What she has left to them and to all those who knew her remains as a sustaining gift and source of support to them all.
Visitation will be 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home, Bethalto. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at the funeral home, with burial following in Fosterburg Township Cemetery, Fosterburg.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent in Pamela’s memory to Bethalto Public Schools, Riverbend Head Start in Alton, or SSM Hospice in Glen Carbon.
Online condolences and guestbook may be found at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com.