Vernon L. Bush dies at 76 owned Catonsville skating rink

October 24, 1990

A Mass of Christian burial for Vernon L. Bush, a retired owner of a roller-skating rink who was active in fraternal groups, will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Bernadette's Roman Catholic Church, 801 Stevenson Road, Severn.

Mr. Bush, who was 76 and lived on Shore Road in Severna Park, died Saturday at North Arundel Hospital after a heart attack.

He retired in 1976 as owner of Vernon's Roller Skating Rink, which he opened in Catonsville in 1949.

Known as "Pop" to many skaters, he was willing to listen to their problems and to help with advice or, on occasion, a car repair.

Born in Baltimore, he worked in his father's ice business in Catonsville and then had several businesses in Ellicott City before starting the rink: the Bush Motor Co., which repaired automobiles and Baltimore County school buses, a Kaiser-Frazer automobile dealership and a general contracting business.

The rink, in 1963 and 1964, became a target of pickets favoring racial integration, although it was regularly rented out to clubs and other organizations of varying racial makeup.

In the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Mr. Bush was a former noble grand of the Centre Lodge and a former chief patriarch of the Centre Encampment and was a recipient of the order's highest award, the Legion of Merit. Treasurer of the Patmos Lodge of the Masons, he was also a member of the Scottish Rite and Boumi Temple.

At Boumi Temple, he was a member of the Scimeter Club, the Ambassadors, the Southern Maryland Shrine Club, the Catonsville Shrine Club and the Flying Patrol. A former president of the Catonsville club, he was currently serving as its Shrine Circus chairman.

He was also a licensed private pilot who often flew his own plane until about 10 years ago.

His first wife, the former Idella Kaiser, died in 1981 after 48 years of marriage.

He is survived by his wife, the former Jean Conner Jawor; two daughters, Beverly Kettler of Severna Park and Darlene Cuomo of Ellicott City; two stepdaughters, Barbara Jean Jawor and Deborah Lee Jawor, both of Catonsville; four sisters, Velmer Stimmel of Maggie Valley, N.C., Esther Elsea of Winter Park, Fla., Marian Williams of Ellicott City and Mary Hayes of Laverne, Calif.; and six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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