In Memoriam



Aileen Louise Bush

Urban Planner and Global Virtuoso

January 4,  1943  -  April 9,  2006

Aileen Louise Bush, an urban planner and world traveler, died on Palm Sunday 2006 at the age of 63.  Aileen was born in White Memorial Hospital, the only child of the late Bertha Hatcher Bush and Welford Bush of Los Angeles, CA.  Affectionately called “Cookie” by her family, Aileen cherished memories of time spent with her grandmother, the late Agnes Coleman and her “Aunt” Fannie Wilson (also deceased).  Always an excellent student, Aileen attended Foshay Junior High School and J.C. Fremont High School where she was a member of the student council and graduated with honors.  Her childhood friends describe her as “shy” and exhibiting a keen since of fashion.  During her youth, she demonstrated what would become a lifelong interest in books, museums, and the arts.

After receiving her B.A. degree from California State University in Los Angeles, Aileen planned to join the Peace Corps along with a friend.  When her friend decided not to go, Aileen’s sense of adventure and independence led her to join the Peace Corps alone.  Her assignment landed her in Africa.  Acquiring knowledge of, and experiencing the continent, became an enduring pursuit.  At the end of her assignment in Africa, she disembarked in New York City (loved it) and became an avid participant in its dynamic cultural, educational and culinary scene becoming an East Village Bon Vivant.  Aileen enrolled at The Pratt Institute where she received her M.A. degree in Urban Planning.  She joined a local chapter of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA).  Aileen worshiped at the Marble Collegiate and the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

For more than twenty years, Aileen worked as an Urban Planner and researcher for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  Her projects included, among others, industrial development plans for The Bronx and airport development options for New Jersey.  Her leisure time was spent exploring museums, thrift and resale shops, adding to her collection of African art, “Flying Turkey” china butterflies, minerals, antique jewelry, millinery finds, magazines, magazine covers, and cameras.  She loved going to art houses, watching old movies and international films.  She vacationed in such exotic places as Russia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Cuba, Alaska, Japan, Hong Kong, Morocco, Ghana, Gambia, Ethiopia, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

She had a journalistic memory and talent for recalling details about people and places.  She held very strong opinions, which she shared freely.  She embodied a strong belief in service to others.  Her commitment led her to volunteer with Pathways to Housing, a NYC shelter program for homeless woman.  In addition to her time, at her own expense, she provided cosmetics and toiletries as gifts to the graduates of this self-sufficiency program.  Aileen also worked with Christmas in April, a nationwide community service program.

Aileen suffered from diabetes for many years.  She had planned to spend her retirement traveling; unfortunately, her health greatly deteriorated resulting in the loss of her leg in 1999.  She learned to navigate the city streets in her trusty wheelchair continuing her pursuit of the arts (Christo’s Gates) and even her trips to Atlantic City.  Aileen loved animals and was truly saddened when due to her declining health she could no longer care for her aging cat.

Aileen is survived be her cousins in Texas and California.  Loving memories of Aileen remain for her cousins Cenesia Sears Blade, her husband Antwine Blade and their Children Antwine Jr., Chase and Anya; her childhood friends Barbara Rideaux and Sandra Outley; and you her family of friends in New York and New Jersey.




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