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Memorial Reception Planned for Legendary Ridge Coach

Daughter seeks memories of Harry Bush, a longtime Ridge teacher and coach, who died at 87.

A reception to honor and remember a teacher and football coach for 23 years who died last week is planned at the Olde Mill Inn on Saturday, June 30.

Harry Bush, who was a teacher and football coach at Ridge from 1965 to 1988, died at his home in Berlin, Md. at the age of 87.

"We will be holding a gathering to celebrate his life, where family, friends, former students, players and colleagues are welcome to come share or listen to fond memories of Harry," said his daughter, Laura Bush.

The reception is scheduled to be held June 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the at the Olde Mill Inn, 225 Route 202, Basking Ridge.

Charles Harry Bush, a well-known resident of Basking Ridge for 45 years, died on June 13 following a serious fall two weeks earlier, his obituary said.

Laura Bush said all are welcome to stop in at the reception.

"Those who wish to do so will have the opportunity to stand up and share a brief memory with the group," she said.

Those who cannot attend the reception also are welcome to send a memory to bushlaura@comcast.net, that will be read at the reception or shared only with family, as desired, she said.

According to additional obituary information, Harry Bush was a football coach for 50 years at both the high school and college levels, including Dickinson College, Hofstra University, Lehigh University and Princeton University.

He taught U.S. history and was the head coach of the varsity football team at Ridge High School for 23 years.

Bush grew up in East McKeesport, Pa., and joined the Navy at 17 in 1943 during World War II. He was discharged as a petty officer First Class in 1946. After the war, he attended Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) where he studied history and played center and linebacker all four years, the obituary said.

He was inducted into the Western Maryland Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and was the honorary captain of the 100th anniversary of the Western Maryland College-Johns Hopkins University football game in 1995.

As a coach, Bush led Ridge to six conference championships. His teams achieved 12 consecutive winning seasons (1969-1981) and 20 straight regular season victories (1976-78). He also coached five playoff teams.

In 1987, with Bush as head coach, Ridge won the state championship and he was named Regional Football Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Ridge High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Additional obituary information, released by Laura Bush, is as follows:

Harry Bush was a loving husband and father known for his great sense of humor, his passion for teaching, and his intensity and creativity as a coach. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 55 years, Sally Bush; his four children, Karen Bush, Steve Bush, Sarah Bush, and Laura Bush; his five grandchildren; and his brother, Donald Bush.

In lieu of flowers, donations for an annual Harry Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund for a Ridge High football player demonstrating leadership, character, and academic achievement can be sent to Memorial Fund, c/o Laura Bush, 522 Old York Road, Flemington, NJ 08822.  

An informal reception to celebrate his life where family, friends, former students, players and colleagues are welcome to share or listen to fond memories of Harry will be held on Saturday, June 30th from 2 to 4pm at the Grain House restaurant at The Olde Mill Inn, 225 U.S. Route 202, Basking Ridge.

Karl Samuelson June 20, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Harry was a father to me as he was to all the players of RHS FTBL ! Great GREAT MEMORIES ! Miss u Harry Mr Bush ! Karl Samuelson Ksamuelson45@yahoo.com see many of you at the memorial !
Laura Bush June 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Just a clarification for everyone: The celebration will be Saturday, June 30, from 2-4 pm (not this coming Saturday). We look forward to seeing you all! Laura Bush, bush.laura@comcast.net
Laura Bush June 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Karl, I am so glad you saw this, because I had lost your contact information. I am really looking forward to seeing you! Laura Bush
Pamela Meister June 30, 2012 at 03:36 AM
To the Bush Family: Prayers and love from the Meister Family. Pam Meister

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