Cover photo for Richard R. Bush's Obituary
Richard R. Bush Profile Photo

Richard R. Bush

Rick passed away, after a short intense battle with cancer on Friday, January 21, 2022 at his home in Plainwell.

The son of Eugene and Mary (Benham) Bush, he was born in Ypsilanti. Rick served his country in the U.S. Army. He earned his Master’s Degree from Wayne State University and worked for Pfizer for 30 years until his first retirement in 1998. He then went on to work for Eli Lilly, commuting to Indianapolis and retired for good in 2006.

Rick enjoyed staying active and for an hour everyday liked swimming laps at Borgess Health and Fitness. He loved the outdoors, taking canoe trips especially to Canada, watching the birds, splitting, stacking and burning wood. On March 23, 2001 in Grand Rapids, he married Linda Gates who survives.

Also surviving are his son, Dan (Sarah) Bush of Rockford; step-children, Marc (Karen) VanLent of Kalamazoo and Julie (Doug) DePauw of Otsego; grandchildren, Hannah, Caleb, Chelsea, Brooke, Lauren and Carter; great-granddaughter, Phoebe; siblings, Cathy Grace, Shirley Perkins, Beth Yoak, Ellen Bush, Sarah Bush and Patty Harshbarger along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

A private family service will take place at a later time.

Contributions in memory of Rick may be made to

Wings of Hope Hospice

or the

Quetico Foundation


Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Judy Hayes

January 22, 2022 at 4:23 pm

To my sister Linda, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Rick is an awesome person and I was so happy that Rick and you met. He’s one in a million. To Rick, thank you being with my sister and being such a loving person. You will be missed. Your pain has disappeared and I pray that you are at peace. To Marc, Karen, Doug, Julie, Dan, Sarah and all the beautiful grandchildren thinking of all of you and you are in my prayers. To Ricks siblings and family thank you for sharing Rick with our family what an awesome man he is. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Until we meet again Rick.. love you… Love Tim and Judy Gates Hayes


Ralph Gates

January 22, 2022 at 4:38 pm

Linda I am so sorry for the loss of Rick from this earth. Rick was a wonderful caring Brother in-law. Rick will be deeply missed!


Ken and Toni Coburn

January 22, 2022 at 4:54 pm

My family is so sorry for your loss of Richard. We will all see each other again.


Darrell Pennington

January 23, 2022 at 11:11 am

I feel very fortunate to have met Rick and have him as my friend & neighbor. Rick was a very happy & peaceful man that loved the outdoors, birds, maintaining his wood pile & taking care of his beautiful flower garden. His flower garden was admired & enjoyed by the entire neighborhood on their morning/evening walks on Long Point. He shared many fishing stories with my son & I. He will be missed by all. Rest in peace.


Dawn Ogden

January 23, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Dear Linda, I am so very sorry to hear of Rick’s passing.


Judy Todd Wood

January 23, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Marc and Karen,

So truly sorry for the loss of Rick. You have my deepest sympathies.


The Otting Family

January 23, 2022 at 2:30 pm

We are so sorry to learn of “Uncle Rick’s” passing. The memories of our girls yelling to him from their bedroom windows always was such a joy! He loved to share with them the flower garden and the lake. We will miss him by all those who loved him.



January 24, 2022 at 3:23 pm

those stories of the girls yelling to him from their bedroom filled his ❤.


Ron Bielski

January 24, 2022 at 1:15 pm

I’ve known Rick since Mrs. Belk’s 3rd grade class of 1955-56 and we’ve stayed in touch thru high school, college, Viet Nam, the untimely loss of Bill Schwalm and his retirement years with Linda. No, we didn’t see each other enough as I missed out on his son’s development, but we were always in each other’s thoughts and well wishes. I was always treated as part of his family and remember special moments with his parents, six sisters and Linda. My Mom loved Rick as a son. An exemplary, accomplished and loving person, Rick will be missed by all. No one had a better friend/brother. I will never forget the lifetime of sharing, experimenting, growing, healing and enjoying each other’s experiences. Our deepest condolences to all who knew Rick.



January 24, 2022 at 3:20 pm

To Linda,

Thank you for loving my brother as completely and beautifully as you did.

To Dan, Marc and Julie, and Spouses,

Thank you for making his life complete with your children. The stories never stopped.


Chris Gates

January 24, 2022 at 3:43 pm


I feel very fortunate to have Rick as my brother in law. He was a beautiful human being – such a dedicated, loyal, faithful, honorable and loving man. He loved you will all he had. He was definitely a rare breed. Even though I know you are left with a hole in your heart, I pray you can fill that void with memories of happier times you two held.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Dan, Sarah, Marc, Karen, Julie, Doug and families.

I love you sis!

Rest in peace, Rick.


DJ Caswell

January 25, 2022 at 2:40 pm

Linda…I am so thankful for every moment I was able to share with Rick, and my children as well…he was always so sweet to both of them… Rick was such a special man in so many ways! It was an instant connection with with the both of you, and for myself and my family we will always be grateful for such a special relationship!! We love you both, and will will always be here for you! I wish I could have have one more beer with that guy on his beloved deck!!!!

Love Always,

DJ, Susan, Madelyn, and Evan


Herschel Miller

January 29, 2022 at 10:30 am

I feel honored to have known Rick. Our only contact was at the pool. We always encouaged each other for doing our best. I was saddened to see the obit but I did learn more about a great person I considered a friend.

God Bless you all!

Herschel Miller


Joanne Schwalm

January 30, 2022 at 9:48 am

To Rick’s entire family.

My deepest sympathy to all in your loss. I haven’t seen Rick since my husband’s funeral 8 years ago. I knew Rick through my husband Bill and shared many good times with him in the 70’s and 80’s. May he now be at peace. Treasure your memories as he will always be in your hearts.


Ellen Bush

February 1, 2022 at 11:03 pm

My friend, my mentor, my brother, I am honored to have been a part of your life and your passing. Rick was gracious to so many people. He loved his family deeply, his sibs, Linda, Dan and Sarah, Mark and Karen, Julie and Doug and his grandchildren . He loved his neighbors, his friends, his garden, nature and the birds. He was a strong and remarkable man.


Alyssa Heidrich

February 2, 2022 at 6:53 pm

Greg and I are so sorry for your loss Linda. Rick lived life to the fullest, keeping his beautiful garden, splitting wood, swimming; all vital activities. It is really a shock that he has passed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


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