Coworkers remember treasured colleague

Kayla Boyd

Ask any colleague of Paul Bush, an Associate Professor of English at WKU, their opinion and memory of the man, and you’ll receive a resounding, positive response. 

Bush, 55, died Dec. 20, at his home from a burst heart aneurism. He was with his wife, Shirley, and son, Jeremiah.

In addition to being an English professor, Bush was an avid member of Kentucky Association for Developmental Education (KADE), and served as both secretary and president throughout his time with the organization.

His office in South Campus was always busy, where he would lend advice, an ear or a smile, said Trish Jaggers in an article she wrote for the KADE Winter 2014 Newsletter. 

Jaggers, an instructor of English and part of the Academic Support Department alongside Bush at WKU, credits Bush for rekindling her love for writing in his English 100 class more than 16 years ago. 

Bush is remembered by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him as a caring person who agreed to do anything asked of him. A lover of music, Bush was never without his guitar, Jaggers said in the newsletter. He played in a band every Saturday night and used his durms in class to enhance poetry lessons, colleague Dawn Hall said. He was dedicated to everything he committed himself to, from the classroom to student-led creative writing groups to KADE board meetings.

“He had such a gift with his students,” Hall said. “His students just adored him.

Fellow KADE members remember his optimistic spirit, upbeat attitude toward life and fantastic sense of humor.

He even dabbled in acting, starring in a short film Hall directed this summer. 

“He was a natural actor and we were astounded at how fantastic he was,” she said. “We were excited to do more films with him.”

While filming, Bush balanced teaching an online English 200 class.

“It’s amazing what he took on,” Hall said. “He taught and acted. he was in every scene of the films.

Hall said there are hopes of starting a scholarship fund in his name soon.

“He was essential to our department,” she said. “We were so grateful for his service.”

“We may have lost a great man, but his wisdom and influence continue to disseminate, spread by everyone he touched,” Jaggers concluded in her letter.