- [S142] Newspaper Article, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), 11 Aug 1990.
H. C. Bush, 94, Dies; His Family Founded Canned Food Company
- [S4] Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), 5 Sep 2003.
Condon S. Bush who led Bush Brothers and Co. for a quarter of a century, died Thursday at St. Mary's Medical Center. He was 65.
"Bush Brothers was his vocation and his avocation," said Jim Ethier, who will succeed his cousin at the helm of the family-owned business. "Bush Brothers was both his career and his hobby.
"He has been the chief executive officer for 25 years and during that period of time we've seen this company go from a regional distributor and manufacturer of seasonal vegetable products to the leading brand nationally of bean products," Ethier said.
While his business achievements were legion, Mr. Bush was also remembered Thursday for his quick wit and penchant for humorous storytelling.
Colleagues called his quips such as -- "subtle as a maniac with a meat cleaver" -- "Condonisms."
"He would just come out with an expression that illustrated his point perfectly," Ethier said.
The Rev. Arnold Lovell, minister at Second Presbyterian Church, where Mr. Bush was a member, said, "Condon was one of the most gracious and funniest men I have ever met.
"He combined business acumen with a sense of humor, devotion to his family, friends and to God and his church in a way that is seldom found in one individual."
Lovell said Mr. Bush was determined to live a full life despite being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Mr. Bush received a lung transplant in April.
"He went out fighting," Lovell said. "He didn't give up he just gave out. The city of Knoxville and the business community have lost a tremendous leader."
Sharon Miller, president of The Trust Co., and who's related to Mr. Bush by virtue of her daughter's marriage to his son, described Mr. Bush as keenly interested in Bush Brothers' manufacturing operations, and especially proud of a $100 million processing plant that's currently being built in the Chestnut Hill community of Jefferson County, where Bush Bros. was founded by his grandfather.
"He loved the operations side of the business," Miller said.
He also recognized that change was necessary to grow, and he moved Bush Brothers' corporate staff from Jefferson County to Knoxville in 1992.
The company is putting the finishing touches on a $16 million Product Development Center connected to its Weisgarber Road headquarters, where approximately 150 employees work. The company employs more than 450 people statewide.
Mr. Bush received his bachelor's degree in industrial management from the University of Tennessee in 1960. After serving in the U.S. Army, he joined the family business in Augusta, Wis., where he was responsible for the design and construction of a new facility and served as plant manager until 1978.
While in Wisconsin, he developed the Bush's Best Baked Bean formula, which his son, Jay, now promotes in television commercials.
He also pioneered the cultivation of navy beans in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota, which ultimately resulted in half of the U.S. navy bean crop shifting to that region.
In 1978, Mr. Bush returned to Chestnut Hill and became president and CEO of the company. In 1992, he became chairman and CEO.
He served on the board of directors and president's advisory council of the Grocery Manufacturers of America the board of directors of the Nashville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the board of the Knoxville Area Chamber of Commerce.
He leaves his wife, Betsey Richards Bush and their four children, Sarah Nuckolls and husband, Joe of Lubbock, Texas daughter, Rachel Brock and husband, Keith of Canyon, Texas son, John Jay Bush and wife, Susan of Appleton, Wis. and son, Benjamin Bush and wife, Emily of Knoxville and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Second Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends after the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Volunteer Ministry Center, Second Presbyterian Church or the Knoxville Symphony Society.
Mann Heritage Chapel is handling arrangements.
Business writer Amy Nolan may be reached at 865-342-6342.
- [S4] Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), 7 Sep 2003.
BUSH, CONDON STOUT - age 65, died at St. Mary's Hospital at 4:00 a.m. this morning, Thursday, September 4, 2003. Mr. Bush was Chairman and CEO of Bush Brothers and Company, and had enjoyed a lifelong career with the company. After receiving his B.S. degree in Industrial Management from the University of Tennessee in 1960, Mr. Bush served in the U. S. Army before going to Augusta, Wisconsin in 1961, where he was responsible for plant design and construction for the new plant facility. He served as Plant Manager at Augusta until 1978. During this period he developed the Bush's Best Baked Bean formula. He also pioneered the cultivation of navy beans in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota, which ultimately resulted in approximately half of the U. S. navy bean crop shifting to that particular area of the United States. In 1978 Mr. Bush moved from Augusta to Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, where he served as President and CEO of the Company until 1991. In 1992, he became Chairman and CEO of the Company and served in that capacity until his death. As CEO of Bush Brothers & Company, known for BUSH'S BEST products, he presided over the growth of the firm from a regional canner of seasonal vegetables to the leading national brand of bean products. He moved the corporate offices to Knoxville in 1992. He was active in his professional life by serving on the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, the President's Advisory Council of the GMA, and the Board of Directors of the Nashville Branch of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from 1983-1988. He was active within his community by serving on the Board of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, being a member of Leadership Knoxville - Class of 1997, and a member of Second Presbyterian Church of Knoxville. Mr. Bush is survived by his wife, Betsey Richards Bush and their four children - daughter, Sarah B. Nuckolls and husband, Joe of Lubbock, Texas daughter, Rachel B. Brock and husband, Keith of Canyon, Texas son, John Jay Bush and wife, Susan of Appleton, Wisconsin, and son, Benjamin Bush and wife, Emily of Knoxville, Tennessee. Mr. Bush has seven grandchildren - Ellen, Keaton, and Allyson Brock - Shelby and Mackenzie Nuckolls, all from Texas, Ian and Cameron Bush of Wisconsin sister, Jean Nankivell of Ft. Myers, Fla. brother, Allen Bush of Blytheville, Ark, as well as several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Volunteer Ministry Center, 103 South Gay St., Knoxville, TN 37920, Second Pressbyterian Church, 2829 Kingston pike, Knoxville, TN 37919, or The Knoxville Symphony Society, PO Box 360, Knoxville, TN 37901. Following a private burial, there will be a Memorial Service 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Second Presbyterian Church with Dr. Arnold Lovell and Rev. Christopher Leonard officiating. Following the Memorial Service, the family will receive friends at the church. Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.
- [S1] U. S. Social Security Death Index, 432-66-9454.
Issued in Arkansas, residing in Atlantic Beach, Duval County, Florida