James "Jim" Bushong '76 March 22, 2021 4:33 PM updated: March 22, 2021 4:39 PM
James Theodore Bushong
JUNE 30, 1939 – NOVEMBER 26, 2020
Colonel James “Jim” T. Bushong, U.S. Army (retired), of Chester, VA died on the morning of November 26, 2020 at the age of 81. He was the loving husband of the Reverend Diane Prevary, and the late Kaye Bushong. In his blended family, he had five children, two daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren of whom he was most proud.
Jim was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas to Harvey and Thelma Bushong on June 30, 1939. He graduated from Fort Smith High School in 1957, from Arkansas Polytechnic College in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry, and from Texas A&M University in 1976 with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Upon graduation from Arkansas Polytechnic College, he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army where he served for more than 30 years retiring as Colonel in 1992.
Jim served in a number of diverse capacities during his tenure in the Army. His assignments ranged from rifle platoon leader to staff officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). As an Infantryman, he deployed to the Republic of Vietnam serving there from February 1966 to April of 1967 with the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Upon his return, he transitioned to become a Chemical Officer with notable assignments as the chief adviser on nuclear, biological, and chemical to the Commander, U.S. Army Western Command; and as the senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. In the latter capacity, he supported negotiations on the Chemical/Biological Weapons’ Conventions; and was tasked to develop and oversee the execution of the OSD portion of the plan to locate and destroy the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs at the conclusion of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Upon retirement from the Army Jim continued his work on chemical and biological treaty verification as a contractor with Scientific Applications International Corporation eventually becoming the Deputy Director of the Center for Verification Research.
After several years, Jim felt the pull of a new calling working with churches in need. Jim grew up in the church maintaining a strong faith throughout his life, and it was this faith in God coupled with his strong sense of servant leadership that led him to his second career as an organizational adviser to churches and mid-level judicatories in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Jim’s work was instrumental in helping these churches plan, organize, and operate to strengthen their ministry and outreach.
Jim fully retired in 2012, and devoted his time to his family. In addition to his wife of 19 years, Diane Prevary, he is survived by his children and stepchildren, Colonel James '93 and Summer Bushong, Jennifer Bushong, Jennifer Wheeler, Ginger Kramer, Chip and Julie Kramer; grandchildren, Travis Bushong, Jacob Bushong, Hunter Morris, Gracie Morris, Ainsley Kramer and Dahryn Kramer; and his brother, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Richard Bushong and family.
He further used this time to maintain his long-term friendships while developing many new ones upon settling down in Virginia. All who knew him will miss his wit, wisdom, and giving spirit.
A public memorial with graveside arrangements will be forthcoming with a projected date in the spring or summer of 2021.
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