Robert John “Bob” Busch, known to most simply as Papa, 86, an East Wenatchee, WA, resident for over 50 years, died (or as he would say “had the big one”) peacefully in his home Friday morning, July 12, 2019.
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He was born on November 24, 1932, in Lansford, N.D., to the late Herbert and Rose(Hoerter) Busch. When he was five, the family moved to Wallace, ID, where he received his early education. They made a brief move to Leavenworth, WA, before making their home in Wenatchee, WA. He attended H.B. Ellison Jr. High School and
Wenatchee High School, graduating with the class of 1951. Bob went to work at Keokuk in Rock Island, WA, in February of 1952. He was drafted into the Army in January of 1953 and served during the Korean War. Upon receiving his honorable discharge in January of 1955, he returned home and to his job at Keokuk. He met and later married Sonia Lee Cook on November 15, 1963, in East Wenatchee, WA. They made their
first home in Wenatchee, until moving to East Wenatchee in 1968. Bob continued working at Keokuk through the ownership changes to Foote Mineral, Hannah Mining, and American Technologies. He retired in 1998, after 46 years of faithful service.
Bob especially enjoyed his family, teaching all of his children, grandchildren, and later his great-grandchildren (and even all of their friends and neighbors) important life lessons like how to dip toast into coffee, breath holding contests in the backyard stock tank (which Papa always won), and passing on his extreme love for all animals. He was later referred to as Dr. Doolittle – as there wasn’t a single animal that he couldn’t talk to – which led to a small petting zoo in the backyard. His love for the outdoors shined through during all of the family camping and road trips around the country. You could almost always find him working in his beloved garden, out in the yard, or hiking in the hills around Wenatchee; which is where much of his time with his sons was spent hunting and fishing.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sonia, East Wenatchee, WA; five children: Bonnie Martinez, East
Wenatchee, WA, Keith Busch, Alaska, Jodie Melcher, Wenatchee, WA, Shelly Jewell, East Wenatchee, WA and Heidi Zanol, Wenatchee, WA; eight grandchildren: Wendy (Jay) Ehlers, Aimee Cruz, Monica (Lance) Merz, Blaise (Tavi) Jewell, Hannah Zanol, Adam Zanol, Mckenna(Theo) Woodard, Luke Zanol: and 12 great grandchildren: Vinny, Analise, Kyler, Cohen, Ethan, Taitym, Jaxson, Ellie, Nick, Boden, Hadley, and
Blaise Jr. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Russell Melcher in June of 1987; a grandson, Robbie Busch in 2005; three brothers: Orville, Merrill, and Bernie Busch; and three sisters: June Novello, Ethel Morse and Laurel Sissom.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society in Bob‘s name.
A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., at Evergreen Memorial Park, 1301 10th Street N. E., East Wenatchee, WA.
Everyone is invited to share a memory on his tribute at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com .Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee and Cashmere, WA.