Veda Pauline (Pool) Bushong was honored with a 90th birthday celebration on January 7, at the Lion’s Club in Ava. The event was hosted by her children, Danny Bushong, of Branson, Diana Davis, Ava, Donna Dodson, Ava and Debra Reed, of Kansas, who was unable to attend.
Veda was born January 5, 1927, the sixth child of ten, of George Washington Pool and Maggie Lene Hicks Pool, at their family home on Bryant Creek, near Gentryville. Veda and her two sisters, Juanita Kazenske, Illinois, and Thelma Jo Stephens, Ava, are the remaining children. Both sisters were able to attend her party.
On October 25, 1952, Veda married the love of her life, Bentley Bushong. They ran a gas station in Ava after Ben got out of the army. Debra and Donna were both born in Mansfield during this time. After selling the station to Veda’s brother, Glen Pool, they moved to Illinois, where Ben worked for Buddy L. Toy Factory. They returned to Missouri in the late 50s, lived in Mtn. Grove for a short time, then moved back to Illinois, where Diana and Danny were born. They moved back to Missouri in 1961 and farmed until 1965, then moved back to Illinois. They owned and operated two quick stop stores, returning to Missouri to stay in 1970. They lived south of Gentryville, on 95 Hwy., in Douglas County. In 1975, they moved to Gainesville, where they owned and operated the Bushong Store, for about a year. They then bought the Gentryville Store, which they operated until Ben became ill with cancer and passed away in 1980. Veda moved into Ava that same year.
Veda has always loved country/bluegrass music and Ben could play almost every stringed instrument. He played for a lot of square dances and they hosted and attended many music parties. She was so pleased Backyard Bluegrass played for her party. She also inherited the Pool family’s love of playing pitch and was a member of the Eastside Pitch Club. Veda is not afraid to bid 8 or 9, and if she goes set, it was her partner’s fault. Veda has never driven, but she is always ready to go listen to music or watch a square dance.
Veda is also a die-hard St. Louis Cardinal fan, and she prefers company to wait until after the ballgame to come or call. Veda loves to embroider, has made many pillow cases and dish towels and made a quilt for each family member.
Veda is a long time Douglas County Herald correspondent, writing the County Line News for over 50 years.
Veda had a wonderful time at her party, with almost 90 people signing her book. Her family served all her favorite foods and provided a beautiful cake. She received many nice cards, gifts and well wishes, as well as a very nice letter from Senator Mike Cunningham. Veda is very loved by her four children, 13 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren and they are looking forward to enjoying many more birthdays with her.Veda Bushong