Memorial services for Venice civic leader Diane Bush are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, January 15th, at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.
She died at her Marina Peninsula home Monday, January 10th, after a long struggle with myelofibrosis. She was 67.
She had served on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice since 1990 and helped raise more than $5 million to build the current state-of-the-art clubhouse that serves more than 3,600 local youths.
She is credited with development of a new club program that allows the club to use vans to pick up children and deliver them safely to the club, where the club members can complete their homework and participate in educational and recreational activities.
“Today was a sad day to hear of the loss of a friend,” said John (JR) Dzubak, Jr., Boys & Girls Club of Venice chief professional officer.
“Diane has been an inspiration to over 3,000 youths annually for 16 years and has helped lay the foundation for the success of the club and our community.
“She was a true ambassador — recruiting tutors, mentors and volunteers — and she was always promoting our thrift shop, which contributes 100 percent of its profits to the club’s operating budget,” Dzubak said.
She was also a founding member and served on the board of directors of the Venice Action Committee. Fellow board members said she embraced the committee’s motto, “A Cleaner, Safer, More Beautiful Venice.”
“Diane adopted Venice, loved it and wanted to make it a better place for everyone,” said long-time Venice resident and Venice Action Committee member Michael Chevalier.
Bush also served as the chairperson of the Ocean Front Walk Subcommittee and is credited with helping increase the number of police officers dedicated to the beachfront from eight to more than 90.
The committee was also active in the rejuvenation of Ocean Front Walk and continues to monitor maintenance of the Venice boardwalk.
She was an enthusiastic supporter of art on the beach and helped create the Beach Art project that involves youths in painting lifeguard stands that were displayed on Venice Beach and in Marina del Rey.
She recently helped secure a $10,000 grant from the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works and Operation Clean Sweep to improve the “entrance to Venice Beach” at Windward Avenue and Ocean Front Walk.
At Venice High School, she was elected a member of the School Based Management Council, and helped overseee the administration of the annual school budget, select administrators and teachers, implement the adoption of the school district LEARN (Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now) program and championed implementation of vocational training as an integral part of high school education.
She also participated in the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Area Community Based Police Council and the Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association.
She was an advisor to the Venice Neighborhood Women’s Clinic, the American Child Foundation and Beach Art, Inc.
She and her husband, Irving, moved to the Marina del Rey area in the mid-1980s.
“She loved the beach and the uniqueness and character of the people of Venice,” said her son Tim Stephen.
“She redefined herself here and never wanted to live anywhere else.”
In recognition of her contributions to the Venice community, she received the “Spirit of Venice” award at the 15th Annual Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival in 1999.
She was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Pittsburgh. She attended Hollins College for Women and Pennsylvania State University, where she majored in math and minored in chemistry.
Since 1975, the Bushes were independent real estate developers and owners.
She is survived by her husband Irv; brothers Art and Tim Fischer; sister Susan Wilson Beffort; sons Tony and Tim Stephen, stepsons David and Michael Bush; grandchildren Walker and Duncan Stephen, Jordan and Camryn Bush, Caroline Stephen; nephew Eric Curtis; and godson Christopher Rodriguez.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 90291, (310) 390-4477.