Distinguished Alumnus
Class of 2014
Larry Bushu

AHS Class of 1955

L-R: Larry Bushu, Carol Bushu

Larry Bushu’s calm and committed leadership has served the Arcola community well. He was born November 4, 1937, son of Ben and Laura McCann Bushu, longtime owners and operators of Arcola Candy Kitchen. Larry and his younger sister, Benita, were raised at 452 East Main St. Their cousin, Donna Carrothers, made her home with the Bushu family prior to her marriage to Harold Butler. Larry was an active Arcola Cub Scout and Boy Scout 1946-1955 and also studied piano for eight years. At Arcola High School, he was an honor student, played left tackle on the undefeated 1954 Okaw Valley conference champion football team, ran track and received All-State honors with his trombone. Larry was his Junior Class Homecoming escort, Boys State representative, Assistant Editor for The Torch and also played the lead in the Senior Class Play.

Following his 1955 graduation, Larry continued his education at University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in Chicago, where he was Sophomore Class President, two-year Pharmacy Student Council President, Executive Student Council Chairman and Student Chapter of the American Pharmaceutical Assn. President. He served as Phi Delta Chi Vice-President, and was also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Rho Chi National Pharmacy honor societies. As a four-year honor student, Larry received numerous awards for his outstanding leadership, scholarship and extracurricular activities. He completed his B.S. in Pharmacy in 1959.

Larry’s career as a pharmacist began in Paris, IL, in 1959. After one year, he secured a position with Hood’s Pharmacy in Urbana, where he would remain for the next eleven years. Larry was named Champaign County Pharmaceutical Assn. President in 1965. That same year, he met Tuscola graduate and teacher, Carol Etzwiler. They were married in Urbana June 18, 1966. Their son, Kevin, was born in 1970. With a desire to raise their children in a small town, Larry and his family returned to Arcola in 1971. He continued his practice at Christie Clinic Pharmacy in 1972 and their daughter, Allison, was born in 1973. Larry was employed as pharmacy manager and pharmacist at Sav-Mor Pharmacy in Tuscola in 1979. An opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal was realized in July 1984 when the Bushus purchased Arrol Pharmacy and a second generation of the Bushu family returned to the Main Street Arcola business community. Larry was later named East Central Illinois Pharmaceutical Assn. President.

Larry’s commitment to community service has been lengthy and extensive. His years of service with the Jaycees began in Paris, where he was named a director in 1960. He was Champaign-Urbana Jaycee President 1963-1964 and then named one of Illinois’ Top Ten Jaycee Presidents in 1964. Larry was recognized as the state’s outstanding local Jaycee member in 1965-1966 and was a 1966 Jaycee State Director. The C-U chapter further distinguished Larry’s service by awarding him a Senatorship with Junior Chamber International. During his time in Champaign-Urbana, Larry also served as chairman for the Advisory Committee of Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District, Health Division United Community Council of Champaign Co. and the City of Champaign Fair Housing Board, as well as president of the InterClub Council of Champaign Co.

Upon his return to Arcola, Larry served as Cubmaster for Arcola Pack 96 Cub Scouts, Scoutmaster for Arcola Troop 88 Boy Scouts and Prairieland Council Boy Scouts advisory board member. He has received the Scouter’s Key award, 1998 Okaw Scout District Award of Merit and Prairielands Council 1999 Silver Beaver Award, Scouting’s highest adult honors. He guided the Arcola Community Development Corporation as their 1972-1973 President and served on the committee to build the swimming pool. In city government, Larry served on the Arcola Zoning Commission, as Ward II Alderman from 1981-1987, on the TIF Advisory Board and currently serves on the Comprehensive Planning Committee. Larry’s years of service also include Arcola Telecare Board, Citizens Advisory Council, 1990 Arcola Chamber of Commerce President, Douglas County Crime Stoppers Board and twelve years as board member for the Little Theatre on The Square in Sullivan. He is a University of Illinois President’s Council member and Life Member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

Larry is a Life Member of Arcola Foundation and recently completed his nineteenth and final year on the Board of Governors, after serving five years as chairman. He is a sixty-eight year member of the Arcola First Christian Church, where he has served as deacon, elder, trustee and chairman of the board. His service was recognized by Arcola Masonic Lodge in 1997 when he received their Community Builders Award. He and Carol were named 1998 Broom Corn Festival Grand Marshals for their dedicated work in the Arcola community.

Larry retired in 1998, but has continued to be a dedicated leader in his home community. Carol retired as Arcola Elementary School Principal in 2001. Larry and Carol are parents of Kevin and Allison, and have six grandsons.

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Last Revision November 11, 2017