John W. Pusey honored for his long tenure leading the Union Hill Cemetery Company's board
By Steven Hoffman
Earlier this year, when John W. Pusey decided to step away from the role as the president of the board of directors of the Union Hill Cemetery Company after more than two decades of service, a simple “thank you” for his efforts wasn't going to be nearly enough. The company presented Pusey with a plaque as a way of showing appreciation for all his dedication and service.
According to officials with the Union Hill Cemetery Company, Pusey always went above and beyond to help serve the Kennett Square community.
“He was always very hands-on,” explained Peter Temple, an attorney in Kennett Square who is the vice president of the Union Hill Cemetery Company. Temple explained that the cemetery is on strong financial ground today in part because of Pusey's careful stewardship of the finances during the last 20 years. Pusey would also walk the cemetery regularly, making sure that every detail was tended to. One of the things that he would do each year is make sure that American flags were placed on the graves of all the veterans in the cemetery in time for the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade.
Pusey was himself a U.S. military veteran. Before he embarked on a career in the insurance business, he served for two years in the U.S. Army and three more years in the reserves.
He and his wife, Suzanne, have been married for 55 years. They raised their three children, Meg, Meredith, and Jay in Kennett Square, and they were very involved in the community.
Temple noted that, as president of the Union Hill Cemetery Company board, Pusey was very conscientious when he met with families.
Pusey has been an active volunteer in the Kennett Square community. He helped coach a Little League team, as well as other sports teams that his children played on. He was an assistant to the golf coach for the Kennett After-the-Bell program. He also served on the committee that ran the Kennett Country Club’s pro-am golf tournament. The event raised money for charities each year.
Some of Pusey's volunteer efforts continue to resonate to this day.
“I was the treasurer of the Anson B. Nixon Park committee when the park was first being established,” Pusey explained. “We put together a good organization.”
He also volunteered his time to drive for the Kennett Food Cupboard. He had a van at the time, and he would regularly go pick up baked goods from a bakery and take them to the food cupboard.
He was a member of the London Grove Meeting, and helped oversee the Penn's Grove Quaker meeting, which is a closed meeting, but still needs oversight of some of the basic operations.
Pusey is very humble about his service to the Kennett Square community and his service to his country.
On a fateful day in November of 1963, He was stationed in Germany, and he vividly recalls being over there working as a long-distance radio teletype operator on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Pusey and some of the other soldiers were finished with their work that day and were at a local restaurant when word about the assassination reached them. They did not know if the assassination had been an act of war against the United States. Pusey is proud that he served his country, and there are a lot of people in Kennett Square who are very proud of Pusey and his involvement in the community.
Suzanne said that while her husband did not expect to receive a plaque from the Union Hill Cemetery Company, he did appreciate it.
“It was lovely for them to give John this plaque,” she said.