Robert Charles Bushnell, husband, father, grandfather, patriot, sports fan, and unapologetic capitalist, departed this life on April 30, 2023. Born July 24, 1932 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bob graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in 1950, and from St. Lawrence University in 1954.
After serving in the Army Military Police from 1954-1956, Bob began his business career as an advertising executive at Eastern Airlines, a predecessor to American Airlines. From there, Bob joined Lewis Bros Ceramics, where he was so successful that he ended up owning the company. If your favorite NFL team won the Super Bowl in the late 20th century and you have a cherished commemorative stein as a keepsake, you have Bob to thank for that. (And he thanks you for your business!)
In 1980 Bob purchased a farm in Ocala, FL, and in the early 90’s purchased a mountain retreat in Canton, NC. He loved working on the farms and groomed them like a golf course. In retirement Bob shared his time between Aiken, SC, where his children and grandchildren still reside, and the mountains. Eventually he settled in Fort Mill, SC with his wife Linda. Bob lived his life to the fullest. He was an intense athlete in whatever sport he played, and even played pickle ball into his late 80s. As a sports fan, he was all-in on the Florida Gators and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He loved Michelob Ultra, and his capacity for devouring sweets— especially Bruster’s Ice Cream—was truly awe inspiring. He enjoyed sharing his success by giving back. He supported a number of charities, and recently mentored a young man through high school.
But for all of his successes and interests, the thing Bob most loved and was most passionate about was his family. His wife was his queen, his daughters were his princesses, and when he talked about his granddaughters’ amazing success as show jumping prodigies, his face shimmered with pride.
Bob was predeceased by wives Miriam (Ricky) Bushnell and Bunny Foley, his sister Barbara Shaffer, and by his son Brian Bushnell.
Left to cherish Bob’s memory are his wife, Linda Frith, his daughters Tracy Griffin, Kelly Bushnell, Elizabeth Bushnell (and husband Steve DiNucci), and Catherine Cram (and husband Richard), as well as his granddaughters Celia Cram and Elizabeth Cram. Bob will also be remembered fondly by special friend Tom Jones (and wife Mary), to whom Bob was a lifelong friend and career mentor.
A celebration of Bob’s amazing life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a contribution to the ASPCA, or a charity of your choice. You should also feel free to lift a commemorative NFL stein (or whatever glass you would like to pretend is one) in the direction of heaven and say, “Here’s to Bob. An American classic!”
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