Irene Bush

September 1, 1925January 6, 2019

Irene Theresa Bush (nee O’Rourke) passed away peacefully on Epiphany Sunday, January 6th, 2019 in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Irene was born on September 1st, 1925 to John and Catherine O’Rourke in Brooklyn, New York. Her grandparents had emigrated from Ireland, but her parents were born and bred in Brooklyn. She was the youngest of nine children, and the most like her parents in her business acumen. Her father founded O’ROURKE AND SONS, a highly lucrative excavation firm. Irene served as secretary and general personal assistant at a young age.

Subsequently she ventured further afield: at a time when women did not leave home to work, Irene secured a secretarial position in the glamorous Empire State Building in Manhattan. She was modern in her thinking and fashionable in her dress!

On September 11th, 1948 Irene married Eugene Peter Bush, the only son of Peter and Mary Bush of Brooklyn. They had four children; initially they lived in Brooklyn, but changing times induced them to move to Congers in Rockland County, New York. Despite the demands of family life, Irene engaged successfully in several business pursuits from the import of fine English Bone China to the eventual appointment as Sales Manager at GENERAL BEARING INCORPORATED. Her eldest daughter, Ellen Mary Ingalls, died in 1985. Irene’s husband passed away five years later. Their only son, Eugene Peter Bush, died in 2010.

Irene is survived by her son-in-law, Stanley Ingalls, her daughter, Karen Hadden, and her daughter and son-in-law, Irene and Victor Blanchet. She leaves behind eight grandchildren: Megan Lafferty, Genevieve Howley, John Ingalls, Alexander Hadden, Victor Blanchet III, Elizabeth Blanchet, Eugene Bush III, and Matthew Bush. She was a great-grandmother seven times over.

Supported by family and friends (most especially, The Knapps, The Annases, The Malfas, and The Peters) in her later years, Irene was known for her immense generosity, her excellent culinary skills, her keen wit, and her sharp business sense. She can never be replaced; she will not be forgotten.

May She Rest In Peace.

Family will receive friends at Michael J. Higgins Funeral Home, 321 S. Main St., New City on Friday, January 11 from 3pm to 7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 12 at 10am at St. Paul’s Church, Congers, followed by interment at Gethsemane Cemetery, Congers.


  • Visiting Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, January 12, 2019

Irene Bush

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Bobbie Edwards (Roth)

January 11, 2019

My prayer is that Irene's family all know how much she was loved. She was my closest and dearest friend. We met in 1964 when we moved across the street from each other in Congers. Our families became friends immediately. But when my parents retired and moved away the Bush's became my family. We did everything together. I admired everything about Irene - the way she raised and cared for her children, the way she dressed, her sense of humor, the way she cared for their home, the wonderful meals she prepared, the way she loved Gene Bush, the way she cared for anyone in need, and she did all this while holding a supervisory position at a local business. In 1976 it became necessary for my family to move to Kentucky. I had never seen her cry - but she broke down and cried so hard that I couldn't bear it. That scene has never left me. Irene and I have only visited two times since that day, but we have talked many times, for hours. And always picked up where we left off, laughing and telling stories. I have missed her these last 42 years. I miss her still. I love you Irene. I will see you later my friend.

Sandy Knapp

January 7, 2019

To The Bush, Ingalls, Hadden & Blanchet Families, It was pleasure and honor to have known and been a part of Irene's life for over 30 years. She was a part of my family. I will miss her greatly, but know that she is at peace. Please accept my sincere condolences. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Always remember that death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.