Patricia McCarthy Bush

Posted Online: April 29, 2013, 7:20 pm
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Patricia McCarthy Bush, 80, longtime resident of Bettendorf, died peacefully in the company of her loving family on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Clarissa Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.
Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 4097 18th St., Bettendorf. Burial will take place in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., Davenport, with the Notre Dame Club of the Quad Cities leading a rosary at 6:30 p.m.
Born in Davenport, on June 4, 1932, Patricia was the daughter of Joseph T. and Adele Jaeggi McCarthy. She graduated from Villa de Chantal, Rock Island; and attended St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind. She married her high school sweetheart, John L. "Jack" Bush on June 21, 1952.
Patricia was an owner of the McCarthy Bush Corporation of Davenport; founded by her grandfather, P.F. McCarthy, in 1897. She was president of the McCarthy Bush Foundation, which has given generously to many charitable causes that she also personally supported, most notably Catholic education at all levels and pro-life causes such as the Women's Choice Center in Bettendorf.
Publicly, Patricia was a "silent partner" to her husband Jack, who loomed large in matters of business, politics, philanthropy, church and family. But behind the scenes, Patricia was very influential, quietly and loyally spurring and guiding her husband's many successes. She was the epitome of the "dutiful" wife and mother, with an "open door policy" that allowed for unannounced visits from children and grandchildren at any time of day or night. She had sound and stubborn advice for her children that she preferred to be followed, but if not, she remained fiercely loyal to her children. She was of the "old order," always at the door with a smile and kiss to greet the man of the house after a day at the office, whether it was her husband, a son, or even a son-in-law. Some may think this old fashioned, but it was a joy to be on the receiving end of this pure sign of love and respect.
Patricia enjoyed travel, cruises, and a good glass or two of Chardonnay. While her love for God, her children and her husband was unparalleled, Notre Dame football was not far behind. She learned computers to stay abreast of the latest ND football news, sometimes giving too much credibility to rumors produced by bloggers on the "board." If you are a highly regarded football recruit, she knew about you, even if you are as young as the sixth grade! She wasn't one to harbor evil thoughts, but woe to any five-star who didn't pick the Fighting Irish! And woe to the Crimson Tide for ruining the perfect ending for her final magical ND football season! She's counting on her special friend, Louis Nix No. 1, to lead the Irish to a National Championship next season.
Patricia was a "lady": polite, elegant, and always "put together." And yet, her life revolved around doing things "without fanfare," even in dying. While her own health was deteriorating during her husband's illness, she selflessly persisted with Jack's care. And after losing Jack, the love of her life, in August 2009, she made good on his wishes that she "carry on" without him, determinedly fighting the good fight.
Finally, it should be noted that Patricia was a devout Catholic, a faith-filled person. As with her philanthropic giving and other aspects of her life, she was not "showy" with her faith. But in her final hours, while displaying no awareness of her surroundings or any capacity to communicate, she was uttering Hail Marys and Our Fathers. It is only appropriate that her final words were a repetitive "I love you," words that were so familiar from her lips, to her God, her husband, children, extended family, and dear friends.
Mrs. Bush is survived by her children, Lawrence Bush, Joseph (Katie) Bush, Gregory Bush, Barbara (Michael) Johnson, Thomas (Susan) Bush, Peter (Julie) Bush, and Mary (Tim) Walsh. She is survived by 30 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, with another on the way. Her grandchildren are Bryan, Andrew, Traci, Joseph, Christopher, and Carolyn Bush; Maureen, John, and Thomas Bush; Mark, Mike (Liz), Laura, Megan, and Elizabeth Bush and Sarah Bush (Brian) O'Dell; Julia, Peter (Reid), Margaret, and Matthew Johnson; Caitlin, Benjamin, and Allison Bush; Marybeth, Catherine, Daniel, and Stephanie Bush; and Kevin, Jack, Patricia, and Joseph Walsh. Her great-grandchildren are Jack and Anna Bush.
Patricia was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother Joe; and her beloved sister, Mary McCarthy Cozad.
The family thanks all of the wonderful health care professionals who have assisted with Pat's care over the past few months, especially her two favorite nurses, daughters, Mary and Barbara; her physician, Dr. Edwin Motto; caregivers Doris and Lorene; and all of the compassionate people on the fifth floor at Genesis West and at Clarissa Cook Hospice House. We lovingly acknowledge the services and companionship of her dear friends, Janey Carlson and Anne Marie Boultinghouse.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Embracing Our Future Campaign, the Women's Choice Center, the John L. & Patricia M. Bush Memorial Scholarship at Assumption High School, or the John L. & Patricia M. Bush Family Grant-in-Aid at the University of Notre Dame.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Patricia's obituary at


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