Fundraiser memorializes Idalou principal who died from cancer - FOX34 Lubbock

Fundraiser memorializes Idalou principal who died from cancer

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Southern Bush Southern Bush
IDALOU, Texas -

"She was the first person at school every day, and she was the last person to leave every night," Matt Bush said.

"Every kid in Idalou, that knows Southern, you will never hear a bad word out of anybody [about her]," Linda Kave said.

Southern Bush was a fixture in the Idalou community. 

She is remembered for her passion, her mentorship and her dedication to her students.


Bush served as principal for 18 years at Idalou Elementary School

During her 18 years at Idalou Elementary School, it was not always a bad thing to get sent to the principal's office.

"She'd give them a piece of candy, and that'd keep them from crying, you know she always made a bad deal for them, turn out okay," Former football coach Johnny Taylor said.

In January, Southern died, one day after her 66th birthday, much to the shock of her close-knit community.

To continue her legacy, her family began asking for donations to provide school supplies for children.
"Mrs. Bush's Locker" has already raised more than $25,000.

"My mom was a huge advocate for children's education, she always made it her goal to make sure that every kid had the school supplies they needed to succeed," Southern's son Matt said.

"If we ever needed anything to help a child, or to help teach, all we had to do was ask Southern. And we always got everything that we ever needed for our classrooms and that's a pretty big honor, to have a principal like that," Kave said.

"Not only was she passionate about education, but the thing she was most passionate about was her faith," Julie McGehee said.

Every Sunday, she would attend the United Methodist Church down the block from the school with her husband and play piano for the congregation.

"It really hurts to go to church now, and not see my very dear friend," Kave said.


Pink and purple ribbons represent breast and pancreatic cancer, both of which Bush suffered from


Pink and purple ribbons now decorate poles and trees outside the elementary school where Bush spent most of her educational career, representing both breast and pancreatic cancer, which Bush suffered from.

She never did let her illness slow her down.

"She was still taking calls from people and helping them with their mentorship. She was reading papers, grading papers in a way, giving feedback to students, " Matt Bush said.

"She retired from education but she never really retired. She helped our seniors still. She helped several communities around here with various things," former student Jeff Lofton said.

"Coming into school everyday she would always hug me and she would always be there and even at church on Sundays, she had such a presence, I just know that her being gone, that doesn't mean that she's gone," Trinity Irwin, a mentee of Mrs. Bush, said. 

The money raised through the fundraiser will provide backpacks full of supplies for children across the South Plains.

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