The Passing of an Old Friend

We note with sorrow the passing earlier this year of Eleanor Bush at the age of 103.  She served as secretary of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy for several years in the 1970s.

Ms. Bush spent most of her life in Philippi, WV, the home of her husband, Dr. Kyle Bush. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in zoology from West Virginia University and then a Master’s Degree in botany from Ohio State University. Her explorations of Barbour County led to “A Checklist of the Flora of Barbour County, West Virginia” which was published in 2004 when Ms. Bush was 91. This was the result of many, many trips throughout Barbour County and West Virginia.

She was a life member of the West Virginia Native Plant Society with a membership going back to the founding of the society. Among her many roles she served as president (or chair) of the West Virginia Garden Clubs, and the West Virginia chapter of the Nature Conservancy where she was a founding member. She was instrumental in two major Nature Conservancy projects, Cranesville Swamp on the West Virginia/Maryland border and Hungry Beech, north of Charleston.

In her younger years she was a frequent field companion of Charlie Baer, Bill Grafton and others famous West Virginia botanists. She is survived by her daughter, Caroline Esposito, a psychologist In Morgantown and her son Dr. Robert K. Bush of Madison, Wisconsin.