Gary Dean Bushert, 59, of Tajunga, Calif., passed away May 12. He was born in Sullivan, Ill., on August 9, 1953.

He graduated from Big Foot High School in 1971 leaving behind records that still stand today for football as wide receiver.  In 1969, 343 kick return yards and, in 1970, 338 return yards in a season with punt returns averaging 26 yards per return. Overall, Gary was third in Big Foot High School history for receiving touchdowns in a regular season at 7 touchdowns scored.  Gary was most proud of those accomplishments and carried his letterman’s jacket “B” with him until the very end.

After graduating high school, Gary went on to attend college at Valparaiso University in Indiana and played football there for 2 years while working towards a degree in accounting. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in accounting after transferring to the University of Arkansas.  After moving to California, Gary created a very successful tax accounting business, BPS Tax Services, and had several famous clients, one of which was Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpson’s.   Gary’s good friend, Cece Worrall Rubin, put it best, “Gary was an accountant that could almost make 1+1 = anything you wanted (within reason of course)”.

Gary was blessed with natural talent on the trombone and a passion for music. Gary followed in his father’s footsteps and began playing trombone in grade school.  His talent on the trombone transformed into a passion for jazz that, in college, led him to study under Carlton MacBeth, famous for changing the way a brass player approaches the instrument with embouchure. Later, Gary would study under Charlie Shoemake who has been touted as being the most successful teacher of jazz in southern California. While in training with Charlie, Gary met Cece Worrall Rubin (jazz sax) and they went on to be co-leaders of a bepob jazz band that played regularly at the Los Angeles, Calif. club, Jax.

Survivors include his mother, Betty Bushert, and eight siblings as well as their families; Cheryl Keebaugh, Deborah Adler, Jim Bushert, Susan Bushert – Christiansen, Doug Bushert, Pat Bushert, Theresa McWilliams, and John Bushert.

Gary is preceded in death by his father, Craig V. Bushert as well as his eldest brother, Craig K. Bushert.

The memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 1 at Golden Years Nursing Home in Walworth, with Pastor Steve Buchanan officiating.

Gary was always one to help those in need.  In lieu of flowers and to honor his kind heart, memorial donations may be given to hospice. The family of Gary Bushert wishes to thank the Rich Austin Family, Golden Years of Walworth, and all of you who loved and cared for Gary during the past few months.