Memory of daughter-in-law Betty M. Bushman – July 2014
Hi, grandchildren, Through the stories I send you, you are learning a little bit about your ancestors and seem to enjoy doing that. My story today is about an angel driving a pickup truck and it might make you cry a little as it did me when I first heard it. It has a happy ending though so read on.
Archie Levon Bushman, your Grandpa Bushman’s Daddy, was born in Lehi, Utah on the 19th of July in 1905. One day when he was fourteen years old he went with some friends on an errand to take beet scales from the Utah Idaho Sugar Company to Foss Creek, about 100 miles away. There were three of them traveling in a flatbed pickup truck that day, the friend’s uncle driving and he and Archie riding in the back. Be thankful for the safety feature of seatbelts and parents who make sure you are buckled in before the car moves.
They had taken their double barreled shotguns along and every once in a while they would stop and the boys would jump off the truck and shoot at jack rabbits. I surely hope those rabbits were fast runners but I suppose the boys were having fun on that summer day. When the driver would say, “Let’s go!” the boys would hurry to unload their guns and scramble back onto the truck. One time Archie thought he had unloaded his gun but one shell remained in it. As he was getting onto the truck which was already beginning to move, he dropped his gun on the running board and a terrible thing happened as he reached for it. The gun discharged blowing off his right thumb and part of his hand. He also lost his right eye in the accident and some of the shot became embedded in his head.
The uncle stopped the truck and tied a tourniquet around Archie’s hand. Of course, Archie hoped he would rush him to a doctor and knowing my father-in-law I am sure that is what he would have done in similar circumstances. Unbelievably, that man said that he did not have time because he still had to deliver the scales. Fearing that he was going to bleed to death anyway, Archie sadly told them to just go on.
Looking both ways, he could not see a vehicle in either direction. There that young boy stood all alone on a lonesome country road out in the middle of nowhere, bleeding and in terrible pain. The only thing he could think to do was to pray to his Heavenly Father for help and comfort. We are never really alone because Heavenly Father knew exactly where he was. When he looked up from his tearful prayer, he saw a little Ford truck tootling down the road right toward him. Archie said he had never seen the driver before or since but that kind man put him in his truck and rushed him seventy miles back to Lehi and the nearest hospital. There doctors dressed his wounds and called his parents. Archie spent six weeks in the hospital recovering.
He bore the marks of that terrible injury for the rest of his life and wore an artificial eye. Do you know what is the most amazing part of this story? Never once did I hear him complain about it or even discuss it. I believe he knew that his life had been spared for a purpose. He worked hard and adapted his hand to allow him to do many things. He went on to turn his first humble job as an elevator operator at the Swifts Meat Packing Company in Ogden into a position of leadership at the plant, married, and raised a beautiful family of four sons.
There were years when he was inactive in the church in which he had been raised. Later after becoming active again, he served faithfully in many callings. I used to smile at observing his technique as a leader in the Adult Aaronic Priesthood program. He would visit every man, sometimes finding them working in the garage or out in the yard, at a ball game or a place of business. Fearlessly, he would approach them in friendship and invite them back into activity. If someone protested that it was too late for him, Dad would tell his own story and insist that it is never too late. At his funeral, some of those men whom he had befriended paid beautiful tribute to him.
Above all else, Grandpa Bushman loved his family and you kids would have loved him too. He just seemed to go on with life, working hard to take care of his family and making time and means to play hard as well. He was blessed with his Izzie whom he spotted in their circle of friends, teased and courted until he had won her heart and hand, and built a beautiful family of four sons. June 12,1940 must have been a joyous day when that family was all sealed together in the Salt Lake Temple. Those boys had to know that they were the beloved center of their parents’ lives.
He was very close to his siblings too who visited often and it was wonderful for me to get to know them through him. Even after their parents died, so many of Jack’s cousins would come around to visit Uncle Arch.
When a request came out from the Church for members to submit a four-generation record of their Family History, of course Dad Bushman would be obedient. One of my treasured experiences with him came when he asked me to help him to fill out his sheets. At his convenience, we spent hours working on it with me doing the writing – before the days of computers — as that was difficult for him. In doing that, I came to appreciate his attention to detail as he took particular pains to insure that the record he submitted was correct. I loved hearing his comments about various family members as we worked. I was doubly blessed in doing that because I made a second copy of the record for Jack.
The Theodore Turley Family Book, p. 495
Archie Lavon Bushman
I am the eighth child born to Theodore Martin and Elizabeth Morilla Lambson Bushman. I lived in Lehi until I was 15, then moved to Ogden, I went to Lehi Public Schools and attended just two years of high school.
I will relate one experience I had and will never forget. When I was 14 years old I went with some friends to take beet scales from the Utah Idaho Sugar Company to Foss Creek, about 100 miles from Lehi. There were three of us, one boy my age and his uncle. My friend and I took double barreled shotguns with us and rode in the back of the large flat bed of the truck. The driver would stop once in a while and let us shoot jackrabbits. Once after shooting a rabbit the driver said, “Let’s go.” We hurried to unload our guns; in my rush I only unloaded one bullet. I thought I had taken both bullets out. When I jumped on the running board of the truck, the truck hit a rock, my gun dropped on the running board, and just as I reached for it, it went off, blowing my thumb off and part of my hand. I lost my right eye. Eighteen shots are still embedded in my head. They stopped the truck, tied a tourniquet around my arm. I asked them to take me back to the doctor. They said they had to deliver the scales. I looked down the road both ways but could not see a car. I told them to go on, I would bleed to death anyway, so they left. I don’t know what happened but I prayed and when I looked up there, was a small Ford truck. Who the driver was I don’t know, nor have ever seen him since. He took me back to Lehi about 70 miles. The doctor dressed my wounds. I was in the hospital six weeks.
I have had more experiences. Three years ago I was given just a few years to live. I was administered to and promised I would live. I am now under a doctor’s care for heart trouble and sugar diabetes. I am blessed by still being able to do temple work and home teaching.
I have held the following positions in the Church: presidency of the Seventies Quorum 11 years; in the superintendency of the Sunday School and MIA; secretary of Senior Aaronic Priesthood 6 years; High Priest Group Leader for 7 years, I am now a home teacher and doing temple work and research as I can.
Our four sons are all married and were sealed in the temple. Two have gone on missions. One is now in the bishopric, one is a ward clerk, and the other two hold ward positions.
Archie married Isabelle Simpson on Aug. 17, 1925 in Ogden, Utah. She is the daughter of Daniel James and Margaret Isabelle Simpson Doyle.
Marvin Daniel, born Jan. 29, 1927; married Jemima LaDean Sine on June 9, 1954
Archie Doyle, born June 26, 1929; married Helen May Lewis on March 25, 1950
John Theodore, born June 14, 1931; married Betty Lucretia Mifflin on March 9, 1951 Larry J., born June 30, 1935; married Rena LeiNani Caine on Aug. 14, 1959