Mr. Oren Dale Bush, 84, of Woodbury passed away with his family beside him on Saturday, November 18, 2023, in Murfreesboro, TN. He was born on February 1, 1939, in Bradyville, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oren Bush and Nannie Whitfield Bush; brother, Ray Bush; sister, Jean Kirkland; and brothers-in-law, Cecil Drennan Smithson and Jimmy Moss.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lynn Foster Bush; son, Brent (Lydia) Bush of Woodbury; daughter, Tandra (John) Cardosi of Tullahoma; brothers, Clyde (Kathryn) Bush, Maurice (Helon) Bush, and Robert (Carolyn) Bush all of Woodbury; sisters, Carolyn Moss of Woodbury and Faye Smithson of Readyville; sister-in-law, Joy Bush; five grandchildren, Jessica Bush of Murfreesboro, Zachariah (Kendall) Bush of Nashville, Nathan (Danielle) Bush of Alexandria, VA, John Vincent Cardosi of Spring Hill, and Andrew Cardosi of Tullahoma; great grandchildren, Kaden Mowl, Landen Mowl, Sophia Bush, Camille Bush, Olivia Bush, Elliott Bush, Riley Bush, and Daniel Bush; foster great granddaughter, Miriam Sánchez; foster great great granddaughter, Maria Sánchez; as well as numerous, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins.
To say the Bush family had deep roots in Cannon County would be an understatement. Dale grew up as the fourth generation to call the Brawley’s Creek, Bradyville Community home. Coming from a large family with deep ties to the area meant they had a special bond and closeness, not seen much in the hustle bustle world we live in today. They were raised with the knowledge and respect for how to do a hard day’s work. They raised livestock, corn, and vegetables to sustain their family. His father showed him how to plow the corn behind the mule at the age of 9. Many times, he wasn’t able to see above the corn or the back of the mule, but he kept going. To earn extra money, he would pick blackberries to sell or milk cows for other farmers in the community. The generational influence of his ancestors and the community he grew up in gave him a unique sense of humor mixed with a story-telling ability and a love for history.
He graduated from Woodbury Central High School in the class of 1958. Shortly after graduating, he entered service with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War Era and the Cuban Missile Crisis. His service carried him far away from the hills and hollows of Bradyville into unfamiliar territory. Following his stint in the Navy, he returned to Cannon County and the simpler way of life. His unique blend of characteristics set him apart from the pack and was probably a large part of what drew the attention of his future wife, Mary Lynn. You could count on the fact he was never at a loss for words. A good story or a joke always seemed to be right on the tip of his tongue. Around this time, they met and married. Setting up housekeeping in Bradyville, they were blessed with the birth of their son, Brent.
Not one to sit idle, Dale busied himself taking care of his new family and hauling livestock to Nashville for local farmers to earn a living until another opportunity presented itself. That opportunity came in the form of the Wonder Potato Chip Company. They hired him to manage a delivery route. This led him to move to Murfreesboro, and he and Mary Lynn were blessed again with a daughter, Tandra. Later he found work with the Conwood Corporation bringing about another move to Cookeville. He was transferred to Knoxville with the company until 1972 when he moved back to Cannon County.
It was at that time his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. Dale and his brother, Maurice bought the West End Market in the Edgefield Community of Woodbury. As the business grew, they pooled their family resources to staff the store. In addition to Dale and Maurice, Mary Lynn, Helon, and all the kids came to work there at some point through the years, but even their family wasn't enough to staff the needs of the community. They hired many full-time and part-time staff to help keep things running. They built a new store on the same location in 1979 and named it Bush's Grocery, operating it until 1992 when they sold the store.
After selling the store, Dale still didn't sit idle. He went to work at Jennings Motor Company, served a term as the Cannon County Executive, worked for the Highway Department, and then Upper Cumberland. Throughout all of this, Dale also kept busy on the farm, raising goats and cattle. He managed to wrangle the grandkids and great grandkids to help with chores and keep the family tradition of hard work and farming going. He loved being able to share his seemingly endless stories and show them the right way to do things. They lovingly dubbed Dale, Pa and Mary Lynn, Nonnie.
The most important thing passed down in the generations was a love for Christ and the church. Dale was raised in the Bradyville Church of Christ. His parents held to the belief from scripture, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it…”. He carried on the tradition in his family. After moving back to Woodbury, he and Mary Lynn found their church home with the members of the Woodbury Church of Christ. They raised their children the same way. Over the years, he taught Bible classes and was very active in helping with all aspects of the church. He was selected as a deacon and served well in that role for nearly 5 decades, reaching out and helping others through the Benevolence Program with wisdom, generosity, and care.
Yet, that wasn't where Dale stopped. He was involved in his community in numerous ways including being a role model at home, outreach through the church, providing jobs for local people, supporting community events, and becoming involved in local leadership. He wanted to help his community be a better place to live. His example, influence, and leadership will be a great treasure for the family and community to hold on to in the generations to come.
Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 from 4-8 pm. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 1 pm at Woodbury Church of Christ. Bro. Herb Alsup and Bro. Eddie Boggess will officiate. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alive Hospice or the Woodbury Church of Christ Benevolence Program.
Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story