LONGVIEW — Loving mother, grandmother and aunt, Eugenia (Jean) Bussone passed away at the Americana Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Longview on Sept. 15, 2014, with her family at her bedside. She was 94.
Eugenia Maude Irving was born in Cathlamet on March 28, 1920, to Robert and Maude (Jones) Irving. She grew up on the family farm in the Elochoman Valley in Cathlamet, learning early in life the value of hard work and family love. Jean took part in the labors of the farm along with her two brothers and two sisters, rode horses and raised a pet pig she named Adolf. She graduated from Wahkiakum High School in 1938.
Jean married Albert Bussone on Sept. 7, 1940, and their first daughter was born in the winter of 1944. Over the next six years two more daughters and a son were born. Jean worked in the box factory during World War II and later as a grocery clerk for the Red and White Grocery and then for Doumit’s Grocery. She also helped her husband in his dry cleaning business and sporting goods store. When Al was hired as the vendor of the State liquor store in Cathlamet, she again helped him when needed.
In September 1964 they moved to Long Beach where Al was hired as the vendor of the state liquor store there. Once again, Jean was by his side working. In 1972 Al retired and he and Jean began their winter stays (eight months of the year) in Yuma, Ariz., for the next 15 years. She lost her husband in 1989 after 49 years of marriage. Jean continued to live in Long Beach until 2007 when she moved to the Hotel Cathlamet Assisted Living Center. In November 2009 she moved into the Columbia View Nursing Home in Cathlamet and when that facility closed she began her residency at the Americana in July 2012.
Jean was devoted to her children and taught them at an early age the traits that she herself possessed: kindness, loyalty, love, laughter and caring. She loved music, loved to dance and was fond of animals and little babies she could hold. She loved to dig clams and was a big Seattle Mariner’s baseball fan, especially Ichiro. She was a breast cancer survivor at the age of 82. Jean was a past member of the order of Eastern Star, golfed in her earlier years and enjoyed any and all family gatherings.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her sisters, Margaret Hollar and Ione Orth; brothers, Melvin and Walter Irving; a daughter, Mary Luethe and her grandson Jay Johnson.
She is survived by her son, Edward Bussone of Astoria; daughters, Sue Johnson on Long Beach and Sandra Rodal of Issaquah; grandchildren, Nathan Bussone-Stewart and wife Sandra, Emilee Jean Bussone, Michelle Gross, Kristin (Rodal) Page and husband Jeff, Joe Rodman, Jamie Rodman and wife Jackie, Karrie (Rodman) Boyd and husband Mike; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Molly and Emily Johnson, Lindsey Hawkins, Ashley Wade, Brooke White, River Page, Mason and Emmy Boyd, Madalyn Winningham Rodman, Andrew Rodman, Harper Stewart; and great-great-grandson, Kyler Hawkins-Phillips. Jean is also survived by several nieces and nephews and her cousin, Tom Irving and his wife of Cathlamet.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. at the United Church of Christ (Congregational) on 3rd and Maple streets in Cathlamet. At Jean’s request, memorial contributions may be made to the Cathlamet Fire and Ambulance Service or Greenwood Cemetery. Dowling Funeral home is in charge of arrangements. Cremation has taken place.