Cover photo for Merritt G. Bush Jr.'s Obituary
Merritt G. Bush Jr. Profile Photo

Merritt G. Bush Jr.

Merritt passed away Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

He was born February 4, 1948 in Otsego, the son of Merritt Sr. and Lorna (Lickley) Bush. Merritt was a 1966 Otsego High School graduate. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War as a door gunner with the Seawolves HAL3, DET 4. He worked at Menasha for many years until his retirement.

Merritt was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed taking walks in the woods, hunting and fishing. He also liked woodworking, reading, making beef jerky and taking frequent trips to Wal-Mart. Merritt was happiest when surrounded by his family, especially his grandchildren. He was a life member of the Otsego VFW Post #3030. In 2002 at their home in Otsego, he married Wanda Mapes who survives.

Also surviving are his sons, Merritt (fiancée, Tabitha) Bush III of Allegan and Mike (Stephanie) Bush of Otsego; step-son, Richard Mapes of Plainwell; 6 grandchildren, Michael (Katarina), Mathew, Stephen, Nathan (fiancée, Destiny), Dylan and Austin; a great-grandchild due soon as well as an older sister.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may visit with Merritt’s family from 2-4 and 6-8 PM, Monday, May 10, 2021 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.

In accordance with covid -19 guidelines a limit of 25 people at a time will be allowed and masks and social distancing will be required.

Cremation will follow.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego. Military Honors by Otsego VFW Post #3030.

Contributions in memory of Merritt may be made to the

Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses

or to the Otsego VFW Post #3030.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

Offer Condolence for the family of Merritt G. Bush Jr.

Condolence Messages

Rachel Arbaugh

May 6, 2021 at 7:19 pm

We are so sorry for your loss. May your good memories outweigh your grief until all that remains are happy memories.

We love you,

Rachel and Rob Arbaugh


Brandy Hayes

May 6, 2021 at 7:24 pm

Thinking of you all and hoping you find joy and smiles in your memories of Merritt.

Love you!



Joanne Krcatovich

May 6, 2021 at 10:04 pm

Merritt, Tabitha and families,

So very sorry for your loss. We’ll be keeping you in our prayers.

God Bless

Mike & Joanne Krcatovich


Brenda Porter

May 7, 2021 at 5:23 am

Wanda. So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and Prayers to you and your Family. Love You, Brenda


Rich and Linda Glaz

May 7, 2021 at 8:36 am

Sending our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Hoping that soon you can smile through the tears to remember the good times, and that those good times will live with you always.



May 7, 2021 at 10:34 am

My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Wanda.Love you


Jessica Jankowiak

May 7, 2021 at 11:41 am

Wanda so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. miss you.


Sandy Hughes MCCann

May 7, 2021 at 11:49 am

Wanda and family, I’m so sorry for your loss.


Arch Woodstock

May 7, 2021 at 1:56 pm

Saddened to hear that Merritt has passed. He added much to my life growing up in Otsego. Our last conversation was about his boys and his love for them. Pray that the God of Peace and Comfort be with you all.


Kevin Clark

May 7, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Merritt and Mike….. and family. Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing.

Kevin C.


Diane Glessner

May 7, 2021 at 3:08 pm

Merritt was a classmate of mine. I always thought he was such a nice guy although pretty shy. I pray his family will know God’s peace and love during this sad time


Phyllis (Rector) Gary

May 7, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Saddened to know one of my classmates from Otsego high, class of 1966 has passed away. Way to young!

My prayers for his wife, and family. May God supply all the comfort you need at this time. With my sympathy!


Sharon Thompson Randall

May 7, 2021 at 5:36 pm

So sorry to hear of Merritt’s passing. My most sincere condolences to the family, and prayers for peace and grace during this difficult time.


J stopa

May 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm

May he Rest In Peace,

John and judi Stopa

Sylvia McKeown


Nancy and Larry Augustyn

May 7, 2021 at 8:07 pm

Mike and Stephanie so very sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.


Ron & ginger Schoonbeck

May 7, 2021 at 10:06 pm

So sorry for loss, may God wrap his arms around you all to comfort you during these difficult times.


Linda L. McPherson

May 8, 2021 at 11:54 am

So very sorry to hear of Merritt’s passing. Prayers for God’s love and peace for his family and friends. My condolences to his wife, children and grandchildren.


Cindy Doss

May 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Dear Wanda,

We are so sorry for your loss. We are sending you love and light during these dark times of sadness.

Much love from both of us…Mark & Cindy


Rachel Richer

May 8, 2021 at 6:14 pm

Wanda, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Love you. Rachel


Sandra TRIPP

May 8, 2021 at 7:26 pm


After just getting to know my cousin Merritt again , I am so sorry to hear about his passing. We were kids together and went our separate ways. My sympathy to you and your family for your loss.


Joyce Zwart Harnish

May 9, 2021 at 8:28 pm

So sorry for Merrits family I sure he will be greatly missed. . He was a good friend and neighbor. He had a great since of humor. Many good laughs across backyard fence. May be rest in peace.


Susan l Keyzer

May 10, 2021 at 9:26 am

I just can’t believe Merritt is gone. I’m glad I saw him a while back and got to talk to him. I’m so sorry Wanda. Sorry for your loss. Now all three of the guys that used to hang around in school have passed on. I know he appreciated you.


Joyce and Darl Gilliland

May 10, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Merritt was part of “our gang” of kids on W Orleans that played together, walked to school together and graduated together from the Class of 1966. So many great memories. Even though we’d lost contact over the years I still considered us friends. Sending loving sympathy to his wife and all his family. May God bless you.


Carol (Foster) Clark

May 10, 2021 at 7:49 pm

So sorry to hear we lost another from our Class if 66. I don’t believe I’ve seen Merrit since high school, but he was such a nice guy then, I’m sure he was wonderful all the way through and will be sorely missed. Praying for Wanda and the family during this sad time.


Sherri Gilson

May 11, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Wanda, Sending our thoughts and prayers durning this difficult time! So sorry for your loss of Merritt.


Sandy Brink

May 11, 2021 at 5:42 pm

I am so sad that I lost another classmate. Merritt was always a nice guy in school. My condolences to his family.


Francis Crawford

May 16, 2021 at 8:15 am

I went to school with Merritt both of us not only graduated from high school together but we both went further in our education in life called Vietnam it’s amazing how our lives are changed and places a whole different aspect to our lives! May the good Lord watch over his family. You will be missed!


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