Leroy Marion Bush, better known as “Tumwater” or “Leeks,” was a life-long Humboldt County local, who passed away on February 22, 2023 surrounded by his loving daughter, Rhonda and granddaughters; Jordyn and Morgan.

Leroy was born January 3, 1946 at St. Joe’s General Hospital, in Eureka to Roy and Edith Bush. He attended Cutten Elementary School, Jacobs Jr. High, and ultimately graduated in 1965 from Eureka Senior High.

When Leroy was a teeanger, he worked alongside his father, Roy, at Douglas Gas Station. In 1966, he enlisted into the California Army National Guard, Company B 579th ENGR BN (CBT) and also married Diana Paiment. In 1967, Leroy and Diana welcomed their first child, son Gary. In 1971, along came their daughter, Rhonda. He and Rhonda were two peas in a pod. She was a daddy’s girl at heart, and in return she stole his heart.

Every summer were trips to Calistoga to watch sprint car races. Taking out the Odyssey any chance time allowed. There were so many fishing trips, and some tall tales even. Then the fishing turned into hunting. Leroy and Rhonda soon started hunting together any chance they got. In 1972, Leroy began working at Pacific Lumber Co, both Scotia and Fortuna, pulling green chain. Leroy was still active in the National Guard, but ultimately retired in 1990. Leroy received many accommodations and awards from his time in the Army National Guard. In 2004, Leroy retired from Pacific Lumber after 32 years.

Leroy’s world was fulfilled in 2000, with the birth of his first granddaughter, Jordyn Viale. In 2001, his world was completed as his second and last granddaughter, Morgan Viale was born.

His girls were the apple of his eye, spoiling them; taking them on vacations, and fishing trips where he’d love to watch them drive his boat. As the girls and Leroy got older there were less trips and excitement, but they loved to watch TV and chit-chat at Papa’s house. Jordyn and Papa’s show of choice was The Jerry Springer Show, Morgan’s was The Rifleman and he and Rhonda loved watching the Giants ball games.

If you knew Leroy, you know he always had an up-to-no-good grin on his face and a story to tell. After retiring, he’d start his morning with a cup of black coffee from Circle K, and a newspaper. He’d drive down to the bay, watch the boats, drink his coffee and read his newspaper. His pride and joy was his trusty side-kick, Sammy, his yellow lab. If you saw Leroy, you saw Sammy. She was always right behind him.

His legacy of family lives on with his daughter Rhonda Bush (Lorne Julien), granddaughters; Jordyn Viale and Morgan Viale (Devon Willner) sister; Barbara Albert, nieces; Tina Moranda (Brett), Sherrie Fosdick(Homer), Stacy Stark (Rob), several grand nieces and nephews, Step Granddaughter Lauren Miller and family, and former son in law David Viale. He is also survived by his wife: Linda Huestis.Leroy is preceded in death by his father Roy Bush, mother Edith, son, Gary Bush, sister, Harva Nichols, brother-in-law Frank Albert, nephew, James “Herky” Albert. Leroy’s family would like to sincerely thank the entire Seaview Care Home staff, St Joe’s emergency room staff, and Dr. Han- you guys were absolutely wonderful in providing care for my father and our grandfather in the end of his life. We’d like to highlight the “Good Ole Boys Gang”; Dale Lindholm, John Pezzoli, Mike Pezzoli, Don Reed, and Larry Look. It’s touching to see a friendship last this long. You boys outlasted the whole neighborhood!

Another special thanks to Randy Noggle- you were always there to help when my dad needed something repaired and was a dear friend to him.

A celebration of life will be held April 15, 2023 at 2 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1018 H St, Eureka. We welcome anyone who knew and loved Leroy.

In lieu of flowers, we strongly encourage making a charitable contribution to The Alzheimer’s Association in Leroy’s name. Donations can be made to: Alzheimer’s Association, P O Box 2542 McKinleyville, 95519.

“Talk at ya later.”


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Leroy Bush’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.