The board unanimously passed a formal resolution calling Bushong a “true asset and friend of” the Cooperative. For 23 years, Bushong served as the director of District 5, which includes parts of San Patricio, Bee and Nueces counties.
“I always tried to do what I thought was right for the Co-op and the members,” Bushong said. “And after we voted, even if I wasn’t on the winning side, I always gave the board’s decision my full support. That just seemed like the right way to do things.”
“Stanley is a wonderful man, and he’s quite a character,” said Shirley Hall, a director-at-large on the SPEC board. “He sat next to me at board meetings for the last 15 years, and he always had a story to tell. He was a fine director.”
Currently, Bushong and his wife of 60 years, Bobbie, are focused on their successful farming and ranching operation in the Sinton area.
Stanley was born in Sinton just a few years before the Cooperative was formed, and he remembered when his grandmother’s house began receiving electricity from SPEC in 1939. His father’s work with the railroad took the family all over Texas, and Stanley said he attended 13 schools in 12 years.
He graduated from Sinton High School in 1950 and then served in the United States Navy from 1951-55. He was stationed in California with his then-new bride, and, while they enjoyed their time in the Sunshine State, there was never any question that they would come back home to Sinton.
In 1956, the Bushongs returned, and Stanley became a member of the San Patricio Electric Cooperative. As they built a family and pursued the American dream, they also gave back to the community. They were active in the Future Farmers of America and in the annual Agriculture and Homemakers Show for San Patricio and Aransas Counties. Stanley served on the board of the Coastal Bend Production Credit Association for agriculture loans, and he served on the board of the National Grain Producers Association.
In 1989, the SPEC board of directors approached Stanley about filling a vacant seat. He agreed to serve out the remainder of the term, and that was the beginning of a 23-year run, during which Stanley offered a fresh perspective and an independent voice.
“You always knew where Stanley stood,” said SPEC General Manager Ron Hughes. “He would listen to all the information, and then he made his decision and stood by it.”
“For me, it was a great time,” Stanley said. “I met a lot of good people, people I still know today.”