William H.T. 'Bucky' Bush

Bucky BushBush, William H.T. “Bucky,” a longtime resident of St. Louis, died Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at the age of 79 near his winter home in Hobe Sound, Fla. He was an accomplished businessman, a lover of music and sports, and a devoted father and grandfather. He was a true Point of Light, giving generously of his time and resources to many causes and institutions. He loved a good story. He loved a good song. He loved a St. Louis Cardinal victory. He loved his country and his church. But his family always came first, including his beloved wife of 57 years, Patricia Lee Redfearn, who preceded him in death on November 10, 2015; his children and grandchildren; and his very large extended family, all of who adored him.

He threw his heart and soul into the political campaigns including those of his brother, President George H. W. Bush and his nephews, President George W. Bush and Governor Jeb Bush. Born July 14, 1938, in Greenwich, Conn., the youngest son of Prescott and Dorothy Walker Bush, he graduated from the Hotchkiss School, in Lakeville, Conn., in 1956,and earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1960. He served in the United State Army as an engineer before joining the Hartford National Bank in Hartford Conn., where he eventually became Executive Vice President in charge of corporate and commercial banking. But it was St. Louis – the hometown of his mother and maternal grandfather, George Walker where he and Patty moved to raise their family and set down deep roots.

In 1978, Mr. Bush joined the Boatmen’s National Bank of St. Louis as President and was member of the Board of its parent holding company, Boatmen’s Bancshares, Inc. In 1986, Mr. Bush cofounded the financial advisory firm of Bush-O’Donnell & Co., which provided investment management and financial advisory services to corporations and individuals both in the United States and abroad. He remained the company’s CEO until his death. He loved community banking and the opportunity to spend time working on people’s personal, professional and non-profit passions. He was highly valued as a corporate board member serving as a director of Maritz Inc., Lord Abbott, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and Wellpoint amongst others. He also served on a large number of nonprofit and civic boards, including as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Saint Louis University from 1985 to 1992; chairman of the Missouri Botanical Gardens from 1991 to 1993; and president of the Municipal Opera Association from 2005 to 2006. He also served on the boards of the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, The St. Louis Zoo, the Arthritis Foundation, the St. Louis area Council Boy Scouts of Missouri and the St. Louis Symphony.

Despite his deep commitment to his work and his community, Mr. Bush always had time for fun. He was a wonderful entertainer and storyteller, and an accomplished guitar player and pianist. He remembered an endless playlist of songs, from Tom Leher and Gilbert and Sullivan, to the Beatles and Jim Croce, to the Oakridge Boys. He mastered accents, re-wrote lyrics, and pulled all into song. He told great jokes, appropriate and otherwise, and reveled in making thoughtful and memorable toasts. He also was known as a sportsman and loved nothing more than family battles on the tennis court, the golf course or even the backgammon board. The perfect day in his life was a battle on the courts in the morning, a golf match that came down to the last hole in the afternoon, and an evening of laughter and song with friends and family. As a man of great faith he loved the church and especially the choirs. He deeply understood the role of music in worship and found great joy working with churches on revitalizing the choirs and their work. He appreciated the classic great works in the hymnals and certainly had his favorites.

In 2009, he was appointed a Commander Brother of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem by HM Queen Elizabeth II. He believed in the goodness of humanity and looked for it in everyone who crossed his path. He sought joy and laughter every day.

He is survived by his son, Scott Bush of St. Louis; his daughter Louisa McCall of Greenwich, Conn., his daughter-in-law Lindsay Bush and son-in-law Christian McCall; and five grandchildren: Katherine Bush and Alex Bush of St. Louis; Henry McCall, William McCall, and Lucinda McCall; of Greenwich; three siblings: George H.W. Bush of Houston, Texas; Nancy Bush Ellis of Boston, Mass.; Jonathan Bush of Hamden, Conn. He was preceded in death by his brother Prescott.

Services: Funeral services will be held first in Florida, on Friday, March 23rd, 4:30p.m. at Christ Memorial Chapel, Jupiter Island. A second service will be held in St. Louis on April 14th, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ladue.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mar. 4, 2018