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Date of Birth March 20, 1920

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Date of Passing January 16, 2016

Ebenezer Bush

from Long beach, California, United States

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Ebenezer Bush, Jr. March 20, 1920-August 16, 2016 Dr. Ebenezer Bush, Jr. DDS ("E.B.") was born on March 20, 1920 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated from Shreveport's Central Colored High School, prior to being admitted to the Tuskegee Institute as a working student during the day, and taking classes at night. After graduating from Tuskegee, Bush taught high school agriculture, until the outbreak of World War II. During the War, he served for three years in the Army, including a tour of duty in the Pacific theater. While in the Army, Bush met and married Wynona Joan Barrett in 1948 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Following his discharge, Bush was accepted into Howard University's School of Dentistry, graduating in 1952. From Howard, Bush moved to Long Beach, California in 1954, where he became the first African American to establish a dental practice in Long Beach. He later opened a second practice in Compton, California where he practiced dentistry faithfully to the community he served until only a few years ago. Bush and Wynona had two sons, whom they raised in Long Beach—both of whom became doctors themselves. His oldest son, Dr. David Bush, an associate professor of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins, passed last year. His other son, Dr. Ronald Bush, is a board-certified internist practicing in Palm Desert, California who has achieved "Top Doctor" award status. As a father, Bush instilled in them the work ethic he was so known for and the passion for lifelong education to which he and his wife were so dedicated. He also infused into them in his love of fishing, travelling across the country every summer to national points of interest, enthusiastically encouraging them to pursue their own endeavors, hobbies, sports, and avocations. He supported his wife of 65 years throughout her 30-year career as an elementary school teacher, and he often spoke proudly of her generosity to her family, students, church, community, and the achievement of her status as master teacher. Bush used his own background and the humble beginnings of making 15 cents an hour in Louisiana cotton fields as motivation to promote his lifelong commitments and his single-minded focus on community and economic development, education, civil rights, and employment. As he invested in these pursuits he became a Master Dentist (requiring 500 hours of continuing practical and written work), and pioneer in the emerging area of dental implant surgery. He also completed a postgraduate residency in anesthesia at Harbor USC Medical Center which enabled him to use state-of-the-art sedation techniques in his dental practice. His years in Long Beach found him becoming an avid entrepreneur, and a deacon in his beloved Christ Second Baptist Church. During his many years in Long Beach, he brought his unique style of passion and leadership to numerous organizations. He founded Project Tutor, an organization to help kids read which became the precursor to the area's Head Start Program, was a founding member of the Bougess-White Scholarship Foundation, worked with Governor Brown's administration to resolve employment discrimination, and was a Golden Heritage Member of the NAACP. In addition, Bush served as a charter investor and first president of Long Beach Community Credit Union and board member of the Long Beach City College Foundation. Bush played a distinctive role in the harbor development as a member of the Long Beach Planning Commission by pressing the Board to transform the neglected Long Beach Harbor area into the city-wide and national tourist attraction that it is today. Bush is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Dental Association, and the American Dental Association of which he is a lifetime member. Other professional accomplishments at the national and local levels include: Fellow, American Society of Dental Anesthesiologists; Fellow, Pierre Fauchard Academy; Member, American Academy of Implant Dentistry; Member, Academy of Implants and Transplants; Volunteer Dentist, Union Rescue Mission – 15 years and Volunteer Dentist, American Free Clinic – 4 years. Locally he served as Former Chairman, Ethics Committee, Harbor Dental Society; Former Program Chairman, Continuing Education, Angel City Dental Society; and Dental Director, the Charles Drew Medical School Head Start Program. He is also a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. He has received numerous awards. The Academy of Implants and Transplants bestowed on him their Award of Appreciation for "achieving the highest standards of professional integrity and recognition in the field of Dentistry." Family Service of Long Beach presented him with the Family Life Award; and, he received the key to the city of Long Beach. He and his wife received the humanitarian award from the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and the NAACP lifetime achievement award and he has been honored by both Howard University and the Tuskegee Institute as a distinguished alumnus. Dr. and Mrs. Bush were invited guests to the White House in 1991 during the George H. W. Bush Administration in honor of their civic and philanthropic contributions. Although quietly making a difference in many lives and communities, Dr. Bush was an uncommonly eloquent speaker, who "knew no strangers" and believed in the idea that it is far better to give people the resources and "teach a man to fish." He was known for telling stories with a lesson embedded in them, punctuated by his love of scripture and characterized by a Socratic style of questioning his listeners. Through his stories, we learned that he was the last patient seen by the late Dr. Charles R. Drew, who saved his life during a hospitalization for appendicitis, that he had the opportunity to meet the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that Dr. George Washington Carver told Bush a few words that stayed with and influenced his life: "to have faith in God, to always be a student, and to be honest." Throughout Dr. Bush's life, he passed these lessons on to all of us and impressed upon everyone that the measure of a man's life is what he gives. Dr. Bush was preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Wynona Joan Bush (passed Aug. 16, 2012), and his son, Dr. David Bush (passed Sept. 3, 2015), his older brother Fritz Bush (passed Dec. 27, 2006), and his older sister, Ruthie Lee Hooks (passed July 15, 2004). He is survived by his son Dr. Ronald Bush, and his grandchildren: Evan David Bush and Raquel Ana Bush, devoted sister, Mrs. Eunice Collins and nephew, Ken Collins of Long Beach, daughter in-law, Dr. Leslie Grant (wife to son David Bush), and a host of nieces and nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews. Memorial Services will be held at Christ Second Baptist Church, 1471 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., Long Beach, CA at 11:00 AM on Friday, September 2, 2016. In memoriam, donations may be made to Tuskegee University. Contact: Robert Blakely, Vice President for Advancement & Development rblakely@mytu.tuskegee.edu. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits
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