Lavern Louis “Vern” Bush
October 29, 1927 – August 20, 2019
Preceded in death by parents Leslie Rudolph Bush and Laura Catherine Schutte; brother, Milton James Bush; wife, Wilma Pankowsky Bush; son, Joseph Leslie Bush; daughter, Laura Beth Scott; granddaughter, Allison Marie Costello. Survived by children: Ruth Ann Popp (Ron), Mary Lickert (Gordon), Jeannette Costello (Mike), Paul Bush (SaeWha), and Katherine Laubert (Steve); and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“Vern” and his brother “Jimmy” were placed in infancy in St. Anthony’s Home in Sioux City, Iowa, run by the Franciscan Sisters. In 1934 they were both transferred to Presentation Children’s Home for Homeless and Dependent Children run by the Presentation Sisters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. These good women raised him and his whole life he spoke highly of the dedication, faith and hard work of the nuns. In September of 1943 Sr. Petronilla met with Fr. Flanagan for Vern to be transferred to Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home and Vern thrived in that environment. He was elected “commissioner” several semesters and was a natural leader among the boys. Vern played right tackle on the formidable Boys Town football team of 1945 and 1946 that took All State. (In 2005 Vern was the first inductee in the Boys Town Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.) Vern graduated from Boys Town in 1947 and always considered it his home and the launching pad for his life.
Vern spent 21 years in the Army including tours in Korea and Vietnam. In Korea he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism trying to rescue his fellow soldiers. In 1955 he married a beautiful Polish girl, Wilma Henrietta Pankowsky, and went on to have the big family of his own that he had always wanted, raising seven children of his own, as well as helping to raise many grandchildren and influencing countless other young people. After retirement from the military, Vern went back to Boys Town to work with youth.
Nothing was more important to Vern than his Catholic faith. His faith had seen him through many happy and tough times and is the lasting gift and legacy that he has left his children and friends. Dad’s words most recalled by his son, Paul are “be honest, say your prayers and work hard…”
The Family will receive friends on Thursday, August 22nd from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. Services: Friday, August 23rd, 9:30am,from West Center Chapel to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (2708 S. 24th Street) for MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL at 10am. Interment: Westlawn with military honors by American Legion Post 331. Memorials may be directed to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church or Poor Clares.
Vern was such a gentle soul who’s faith led him home. He really loved his children and grandchildren and they in turn loved him though out his final days on this earth. May the perpetual light shine upon him and may he and all the faithfully departed rest in peace.