ERNESTYNE Whiteside Bush had fond memories of her childhood in Dothan, Ala.
"They were a loving, caring family and enjoyed many family activities together, such as going to church regularly, riding in the family car on the weekends and playing with the many pets their father brought home," her family wrote in a tribute.
" 'Styne' was a very personable, sociable little girl with many friends, and she kept that bubbly personality through her life."
In addition, Ernestyne loved to sing and dance, and took part in musical programs at North Highland High School, from which she graduated. She sang solos in the school choir and brought her love of music and performing when she came to Philadelphia in the early '50s.
Ernestyne Bush, a mathematics teacher in Philadelphia schools for more than 35 years, died Dec. 1. She was 82 and lived in Overbrook.
In her later years, Ernestyne became an active leader and volunteer in the Philadelphia Senior Center.
Although she left the South decades ago, she never lost her Southern charm and graciousness.
She and her siblings, Sidney and Warner, were born to Ernest and Hattie Kendrick Whiteside. While living in Philadelphia, she always enjoyed returning to her roots in the South and renewing youthful friendships by attending high-school reunions, which were regularly held.
From high school, Ernestyne went on to attend Alabama State College, from which she graduated with a degree in education. She was initiated into the Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was active in its service projects.
In 1951, she married Wilford Tallaferro Bush, a graduate of Alabama A&M College. They came to Philadelphia, and both became teachers in the public-school system. Her husband also established a successful real-estate business and was active in community affairs.
Ernestyne continued her education by earning a master's degree from Antioch University, and taking courses from the University of Alaska and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
She taught at Shaw and Sayre junior high schools. She also served as a coordinator of student trips, and taught a choral group at the schools.
"She was well-loved by the children and the school staffs," her family wrote.
Ernestyne, her husband and children were active members of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church. She sang in the senior choir, attended the "Through the Bible" program and participated in the church scholars committee.
She also established a scholarship in the name of her deceased son, Wilford Tallaferro Bush.
Ernestyne became a board member of the Philadelphia Senior Center, where she was president of the advisory council and coordinator of the Bible class. She also sang in the center's chorus, participated in the drama group and raised funds for the center by selling raffles.
She was a winner of the "Make a Difference Award" presented by the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers.
The money she helped raise for the center made possible new lighting and other improvements.
"This warm Southern lady had an infectious smile and loved to talk," her family wrote. "Ernestyne made all those whom she met feel as though they'd known her for a long time."
Her husband died in the early '80s. Besides her son, she also was predeceased by a daughter, Harriet. She is survived by her granddaughter, Racheal Nicole Bush.