Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, Jenny was raised with the U.S. Navy in her backyard. So it came as no surprise when she hit it off with the handsome sailor she met on a blind date. Chris’ cousin was right in thinking Chris and Jenny would make a great pair. They’ve now been married for 31 years!
Jenny Bushnell graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD and took up the role of mother and teacher. Covid-homeschooling was not a shock to Jenny, as she has been homeschooling the family’s 10 children for more than 26 years, and still has a few years ahead of her!
Chris graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to earn advanced degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and Naval War College. In May of 2018, Chris retired after 30 years in the U.S. Navy. Chris says, “I landed a job working for a Silicon Valley tech company based on my engineering background and experience building and leading teams. My role as a Surface Warfare Officer or SWO (which means I drove ships) in the Navy provided me a tremendous amount of opportunities: education, travel, moving 15+ times, exposure to foreign lands, cultures, food, as well as the opportunity to learn a great deal about people, leadership, and overcoming adversity, as well as developing solutions to challenging problems. I was lucky enough to command a U.S. warship at sea, and also be in command of a group of ships, in addition to leading organizations ashore as well as at sea.”
The Bushnells may be easily spotted around town in what they so lovingly call their “People Hauler,” recognized by their unique stickers in the back windows, showcasing a loving family of sea turtles and highlighting the kids’ academic accomplishments.
Currently Chris and Jenny only have three of their ten children at home with them, but at one point during COVID there were as many as 6 kids living at home. Cullen, their oldest daughter is a military spouse. Her husband, Joe, is a Captain in the US Marine Corps. They have three children. McGeady is a Lieutenant in the US Navy and is married to his lovely wife, Samantha. Xavier is an ENS in the US Navy Reserves. Blaise and her husband, Alex, are both 2nd Lieutenants in the USMC. Kavanagh-Faye is an ENS in the USN, currently in medical school and Synjon is a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. The Bushnell’s late daughter, Kenealy, passed in 2004 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At home now is their son Bonaventure, a sophomore at SRVHS and their youngest kids, Maria Kekoa, 7th grade, and Keeldrum, 4th grade.
Jenny says that the kids at home spend their days much like everyone else, learning, studying, and relaxing playing video games and checking out TikTok. Kekoa and Keeldrum also love to jump on the trampoline and draw. When sports are in session, they play rec basketball and lacrosse. Bonaventure plays football and lacrosse at SRVHS.
Being a military family meant lots of moves during the course of Chris’ career. The Bushnells have lived all across America – San Diego, CA; Monterey, CA; Newport, RI; Norfolk, VA; Pascagoula, MS; Washington D.C.; Pearl Harbor, HI; Annapolis, MD; Virginia Beach, VA. When the moves were coming to an end in 2017, Jenny and Chris decided to welcome one more family member into the house – a Terrier Maltese Poodle mix named Lava. She is 4.5 years old and loves being the baby of the family!
They’ve enjoyed family trips to Ocean City, MD and Hawaii, but truly love living here in the East Bay. They currently live near the police station, in a home that suits their large family needs. This past Christmas, the entire family (kids, spouses, grandkids) made it back to Danville for the first time in two years. They thoroughly enjoyed that time spent together. Aside from the space to host everyone, the other reasons that the Bushnells love their home is its proximity to all of Danville’s activities. Their kids are able to walk to the high school, they can all walk to St. Isidore’s, where they attend church, and downtown restaurants and bars are a stone’s throw away.
The Bushnells are proud of their service to our country. Alongside Chris’ three decades of service, five of their children and two sons-in law are in the military. They all put into practice everyday the words that Chris and Jenny have instilled in the family: “Faith, Family and Friends…are what really matter. Embrace Life! We move as a unit!” Chris goes on to say, “ My wife and I were lucky to have a tremendous example set for us by our parents. They emphasize the importance of education and family. The leadership and example they provided us growing up set the example for us to follow and embrace; selfless over selfish. We are super proud that our kids see it that way as well.”
By Alexandra Sullivan, Resident since 2017
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