Joseph William Cushing

 United States

  • Date Of Birth: September 22, 1929
  • Date Of Death: November 16, 2021
  • Spouse: Jane Tonks
  • Siblings: Betsy Jukofsky (sister), Edward J. (Carolyn) Cushing (brother)
  • Children: Lisa (Bill) Kent, Marilyn (Kevin) Swindall
  • City: Gainesville
  • State: Georgia

Joseph William Cushing, age 92, of Gainesville, GA passed away on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

He was preceded in death by parents, Joe and Betty Cushing; his wife, Martha Ann Miller Cushing; and his 2nd wife, Jane Tonks Cushing.

Mr. Cushing is survived by daughters, Lisa (Bill) Kent of Brunswick, GA and Marilyn (Kevin) Swindall of Johns Creek, GA; sister, Betsy Jukofsky of Hilton Head, SC; brother, Edward J. (Carolyn) Cushing; grandchildren, Riley Kent, Laura Shy, Amanda Akin, Abigail Swindall, Tucker Swindall, and the Tonks grandchildren, Jennifer, Laura, Emily, William, Ben, and Sara and their children; great grandchildren, Zain Shy and Kaia Shy; stepchildren, Rick (Cis) Tonks, Cutter (Julie) Tonks, William (Debbie) Tonks, Gretchen (Jim) Hartling.

Bill Cushing loved his family, music (especially singing), and his work as a Chemical Engineer, and he was especially fond of walking in the woods, birds, nature, and a good sandwich. He was loving, kind, intelligent, generous, dependable, and a wise teacher to his children and grandchildren.

Bill was raised on a farm by the Meramec River in Steelville, MO, the oldest son of Joseph William (Joe) Cushing and Carrie Elizabeth (Betty) Zahorsky Cushing. As a boy he helped his parents when they operated the Wildwood Resort on the other side of the Meramec from the farm.

He attended Washington University in St. Louis for a year when he was 16, then decided to enlist in the Army. He served 2 years as an I & E Specialist at Kobe Station in Japan and played cornet in the Army band before his honorable discharge in 1948. He returned to Washington University to obtain a BS in Chemical Engineering. There he met Ann, his wife of 40 years. They were married in 1951 and had two daughters. His career in chemicals began with the Carboline Company in St. Louis, MO, then they moved to Seattle, WA in 1961. In 1963 he landed a position with Union Camp Corporation in Savannah, GA, where he stayed for 26 years, starting in sales and moving up quickly into management, with responsibility for product development and technical service in the Chemical Division. His love of nature and concern for the environment were passed along to his children in canoeing, hiking and camping trips.

Since he met his wife Ann in the university chorus, they continued to participate in choirs and choruses over the years, and music sustained him as one of his final joys late in life. He and Ann were members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Savannah, and later St. John’s Episcopal. He retired in 1989 when his eyesight began to fail but worked two more years at Futura Coatings after moving back to St. Louis.

After his wife’s death, he reconnected with old friends in Savannah, and eventually married Jane Tonks in 1992. Their marriage lasted 20 years, and they were a great joy to each other and all who knew them. Bill and Jane moved to Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, GA in 2004, and enjoyed their last years together there. Never one to let his failing eyesight hold him back from participating in life, he sang in the chorus, took long walks, enjoyed Elderhostel trips, and served on resident committees such as the Culinary Committee. He and Jane were involved with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Savannah, and Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville.