Otis Bush

August 29, 1937 – December 1, 2016​


Otis Bush was born to Council and Roseanna Woods-Bush on August 29, 1937 in Mt. Andrew, Alabama. The eldest son, Otis was the fourth of seven children. In the 1940’s the Bush family relocated to Chicago, Illinois. His brother Johnny shares precious memories, “As young children growing up in Chicago with our family on State Street, I can still see the pot belly stove that we as children had to keep fired up to keep the family warm in the winter months and we had to cook on all through the year.  Otis loved playing with his model trains; he had his own railroad in the apartment.  From as far back as I can remember my brother always had a job he had to be around nine years old when he was working on the milk truck.  He faithfully went to work every day, that lets you know he was a bread provider from a young age.  As brothers we had our pillow fights and that was fun. Otis was an outgoing person and looked like everybody in the neighborhood knew Bo-jingles that were his nickname. As children we all sat around listening to the radio together. Our favorite was the Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, and The Invisible man just to name a few.  Otis loved his comic books and when finished reading the ones that he had, others boys would come by the house and they would trade books with each other. If we only knew all those books that we had would be worth Big Money now we would have held onto them for life.  As a young person Otis liked going to church, and whether he liked it or not that was our mother’s requirement you go to Sunday school or else; need I say more.  There Otis was taught in the Word of God as he sang in the youth choir.  He served as an altar boy, and later was ordained as a youth minister under the leadership of Bishop Murphy First Church of Divine Science. As a young person Otis loved experimenting with electrical equipment.  After finishing Dunbar Trade School he went on to work at Spiegel Catalog Company in Chicago, IL as a technician.  From there he went into the Military (Navy).” Otis travelled around the world on many ships. In 1974, at the age of 41, Otis began a courtship with Bernadine Elizabeth Williams, mother of three children. The couple wed on September 4, 1976, in their newly purchased home in Valencia Park. Otis cared for her children as though they were his own. In 1978, 1984, and 1990 the couple were blessed with three daughters, Aisha, TaNisha, and Kristyna, respectably. After 21 years of service, Otis was Honorably Discharged from the Navy. Self-taught, he learned to play the flute, guitar, saxophone, harmonica, and, piano. He enjoyed shopping at Amvets, tinkering with electronics, fishing, and talking on Citizen Band radio. His radio name (handle) was the “Witch Doctor.” He loved fixing cars, and sharing his knowledge. Most of all Otis loved spending time with his grandchildren. They affectionately referred to him as “PawPaw”. Otis was preceded in death by his parents, Council and Roseanna Bush and three sisters, Madell Woods-Jackson, Laura Mae Woods-Cotton, and Ruby Jean Bush-Bailey. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving and devoted wife of forty years, Bernadine; his six grateful children, Aisha Bush, San Diego, CA; TaNisha Tankard,  Denver, CO;  Kristyna Bush and Bruce Williams; of San Diego, CA, Tracy Williams (Cassandra) Denver, CO, and Roshauna McGhee (Darius) San  Diego, CA; three siblings, Jean Dade-Batchie, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Johnny Bush, (Gladys) and Rose Johnson, of Chicago, IL; Six grandchildren, Koby-Janee, Tru Israel, Dallas Elizabeth, Payton Lavonne, Tiffany Weaver, and Henry Weaver; and four great-grandchildren.  He had numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends. He will be missed dearly. Services were held Saturday, December 17, 2016 at Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary.