Elby Bushong
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Elby Bushong
  • September 8, 1944 - September 11, 2017
  • Phoenix, Arizona

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73 of Phoenix, AZ, passed away on September 11, 2017. He was surrounded by family. Elby was born on September 8, 1944 in Globe, Arizona to Elby Bushong, Sr. and Virginia Penrod Bushong. His family moved to Phoenix when he was an infant. His sporting career started early as a little leaguer at Washington Elementary along with his brother, Jerry, and cousins, Joe, John, and Pete, with his dad and uncle as the coaches. At Washington High School, he lettered in 4 sports: baseball, football, basketball, and wrestling. He and classmate, Sid Gilbreth, became the first All State football players from Washington High School in 1962. He also was All State in baseball. At Phoenix College he played football and baseball. The summer of 1964, college roommate, Jim Allen, introduced him to his future wife, Margie Lund. That fall, he continued college at Cal Western University in San Diego. This is where he was elected to 1st team All American in Baseball. The summer of 1965 Elby and Margie were married. In 1966, their son, Elby III was born and he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, playing for them in the Minor League System for 2 years. In 1968, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and was invited to Spring Training at Vero Beach, Florida with the Major League team. He played in the Minor League System for 1 season. He then decided to make a career change and joined the Phoenix Fire Department, where he remained for 38 years. He climbed the ranks, retiring as a Deputy Chief. In 1970, daughter, Kristi Jo, completed their family. At that point, he had started playing what became a very illustrious slo-pitch softball career. He played all over the United States, and was a member of at least 7 National Championship Teams and 7 All American Teams. He was elected to the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association (USSSA) "Hall of Fame" in 1982. He is also a member of the Arizona Sports "Hall of Fame". Even with all these sports accolades, he felt his most important roles were being son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, brother, Jerry, and granddaughter, Amanda Bushong. He is survived by his beloved wife, Margie of 52 years, sisters, Candy (Howard) Box, and Sandy (Pete) Atkinson, and brother and sister in law Craig and Sharon Lund. Son, Elby III (wife, Jessica), daughter, Kristi Jo Galbreath (husband, Jeremiah Galbreath). Grandchildren, Elby IV (wife, Kristin), Kailey, Kacey, Chase, Makenna, Trace, Gage Bushong Galbreath, Jolie Galbreath, great granddaughter, Tatum Bushong, and many nieces and nephews. Services will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017, visitation at 10:00 a.m. and celebration of life at 11:00 a.m. at North Hills Church 15025 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85023. Interment Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary 200 W Beardsley Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85027. In honor of Elby, please wear your favorite sports shirt or jersey, casual attire. Arrangements by Shadow Mountain Mortuary. A huge thanks to Dr. Rajinder Grover and his amazing staff at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, 4th floor nurses at JCL hospital, and Hospice of the Valley, especially Kelly Quinn, R.N. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to United Phoenix Firefighters Charities or Hospice of the Valley.