WACO, Texas (KWTX) Charlene Bush, 63, the co-founder of the popular Bush’s Chicken restaurant chain, died Monday after a five-year battle with cancer.
Charlene Bush. (Funeral home photo)
Bush and her husband Keith opened the first Bush’s Chicken in 1995 on Hewitt Drive and in 2005 started franchising, expanding the business into a chain of more than 85 restaurants throughout the state.
"She was probably the best person I know and my soulmate,” her husband of 45 years said through tears Tuesday.
"The last near five years have been hard,” he said.
“We haven't worked as much at the business because of her illness but now I'm ready to get going again."
Bush was responsible for creating one of the restaurant’s most popular menu items, her son, Corey, said.
"My mom created the sweet tea. She came up with how much love and sugar to put into it,” he said.
"She was a hard-working woman and that's what she would want us to continue to do,” he said.
Bush was an active supporter of a number of local charities including Fuzzy Friends and of hundreds of schools and churches.
She and her husband donated thousands of meals to Fort Hood soldiers and their families.
Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home at 6101 Bosque Blvd. in Waco.
The funeral service is at 2 p.m. at the funeral home, followed by burial at Oakwood Cemetery.