By Kristin Bednarski
Batavia Township Trustees unveiled a sign in honor of Jim Bushman at the Batavia Township Community Center April 9.
Trustees named the baseball complex the Jim Bushman Memorial Baseball Complex after Jim Bushman, who served three terms as Batavia Township Trustee from 1992-2004 and was a knothole coach for many years.
Bushman was elected to serve a fourth term before he was killed in an accident in November of 2011.
“We thought it was very, very important we did this,” Bill Dowdney, chairman of the board of trustees, said.
Batavia Township Trustees, members of the community and members of Jim Bushman’s family, including his wife Linda Fraley, his children, step-children and grandchildren attended the event.
Several individuals spoke about Bushman and his impact as a family member, leader and friend in the community.
“What always caught my eye was his smiling face,” Dowdney said. “That is one thing I will always remember. I have a feeling Jim is looking down on us now with a smiling face.”
Dowdney listed many things Bushman was involved in throughout his life including the United States Army, being a knothole coach, serving on the Batavia school board, volunteering at the Caring Place Pregnancy Center, serving as a board member of Central Joint Fire and EMS, and more.
“Jim had a passion for his community,” Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons said.
Parsons said Bushman encouraged him to become clerk at the township and eventually administrator. He said Bushman was always thinking of others and never let the power of a position get to his head.
“We are honored to recognize Jim,” Trustee Jim Sauls said. “It is just great that we can all come together and recognize a friend.”
In addition to being involved in the community and a great friend to many, Linda Fraley, Bushman’s wife, said he was also wonderful to his family.
“If you return to this field with someone who doesn’t know Jim, say he was the best grandfather,” Fraley said.
Fraley shared some stories about her husband and his contributions as well as stories about his personality and sense of humor.
She thanked trustees for creating a symbol of honor for Bushman at the township community center.
“Thank you from me and Jim’s family,” Fraley said. “Thanks for caring.”
The Jim Bushman Memorial Baseball Complex includes several baseball fields for little league and recreational teams as well as Brian Wilson Field, which was funded by the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund and will be used by the University of Cincinnati Clermont College Cougar baseball team.
The Jim Bushman Memorial Baseball Complex sign is located at the entrance of the baseball complex, which can be accessed by entering the sports complex drive next to the pond at Batavia Township Community Center, located at 1535 Clough Pike.