David R. Bush
David R. Bush
October 31, 1951 ‐ January 12, 2022
Dr. David Richard Bush Ph.D, 70, of North Ridgeville, Ohio died Wednesday, January 12th. Born to the late Patricia Jean Bryer and William Robert Bush, October 31st, 1951, Dr. David Richard Bush graduated from Canton McKinley High School in 1969. He attended Miami University in 1973, graduating with a BA in Anthropology. He earned a Masters degree in 1974 from Kent State University. Dr. Bush went on to earn a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 1987.
Dr. Bush held many professorships, along with director and board positions at Case Western Reserve University, University of Pittsburgh, and lastly from 1998-2017, Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Historic and Military Archaeology at Heidelberg University. Dr. Bush's ultimate professional legacy was his passion and dedication for field work and study of Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison. As founder and Chairman of The Friends and Descendants of Johnson Island Civil War Prison, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Johnson’s Island Prisoner of War Depot. Thru this he was able to get the land designated as a National Historical Landmark. In 2011 he achieved a lifelong goal and authored “I Fear I Shall Never Leave This Island, Life in a Civil War Prison”. In addition, he served his country as an Anthropologist in MIA-POW recovery for the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Dr. Bush proudly recalled this service in SE Asia as a life changing event.
While at Heidelberg University, Dr. Bush mentored dozens of aspiring archaeologists and created the Johnson's Island Experiential Learning Program in Historical Archaeology, a program that allowed thousands of 5th - 12th grade students, teachers, and parents to experience history hands-on. Participants also gleaned insight into what life was like at a Civil War prison by listening to diaries and journals of the POWs. He led summer field schools, teacher workshops, and volunteer programs at Johnson's Island throughout his career.
David was preceded in death by his brothers, William Bush from Spring, Texas and Robert Bush, from Alexandra,Virginia . As a cherished life partner, David is survived by his loving partner, Sue Umbenhour of 29 years of Rocky River; his older brother Michael Bush (Kathy) from Lake Luzerne; his sons, Jacob Stuart Bush (Melody) of Stow, Adam Ross Bush (Erin) of Canal Fulton ;his grandchildren Jacob, Molly, and Easton. David could be found playing tennis at Paramount Tennis Center in Westlake with both his life partner, Sue and tennis friends. Most recently, an avid birdwatcher, feeder and photographer, David had several photos published and recognized. Aside from tennis, was fishing with his sons, Jake and Adam Bush, and maximizing his time with his grandchildren Molly, Jacob, and Easton, his daughter-in-laws, Mel and Erin.
Memorial services will be held May 21st from 10:30am till noon at Johnsons Island. 4005 E. Baycliffs Dr. Marblehead, Ohio 43440. Contact for the family is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made online to the Friends and Descendants of Johnson’s Island or mail donations to Friends and Descendants of Johnson's Island, Inc. 20545 Center Ridge Road, Suite 424, Rocky River, Ohio 44116