Selma lost an outstanding business and civic leader on July 26, 2016, when W. Russell Buster, Jr., age 93, died after a short illness at Park Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Russell Buster was born May 5, 1923 to William Russell Buster, Sr. and Daisy Feulner Buster, who predeceased him along with his son, B. Donaldson Buster, and Russell’s brother, Ralph D. Buster.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 67 years, Betty Burke Buster, his sister, Virginia B. Hollinger of Camden, his son, William Russell Buster, III (Ruth), of Cullman, his daughter-in-law, Bonnie Rowell Buster, of Selma, grandchildren, Ann Buster Payne (Brannon) of Dothan, William Russell Buster IV (Mary Lafitte) of Fairhope, John Burke Buster (Erica), of Atlanta, Brooke Buster Glennon (Andrew) of Birmingham, and Benjamin Reid Buster (Grace) of Selma, and great grandchildren, Reed Payne, Will Payne, Bradford Payne, Grace Payne, William Buster, Caroline Buster, Elizabeth Buster, Mary Virginia Buster, Drew Glennon and Ben Glennon, along with his nieces, Kendall Buster-Allen (Siemon), of Richmond, VA, and Caroline H. Anderson (Claude) of Selma, and nephew, Shannon Hollinger (Fran) of Camden.
Buster graduated from Parrish High School in 1941, and attended Auburn University before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1943 and serving in England, France and Germany. Returning to his hometown after serving in WWII, Buster was originally employed by Southland Mower then Rawls Machine and Supply, where he began experimenting with a design for a heavy duty rotary mower, then went to work for an upstart company that would eventually manufacture the tractor-pulled mower he helped develop that became known as the Bush Hog, a name so closely associated with the job it was designed to do, people now “bush hog” their fields, they formerly cut with a variety of equipment.
He was greatly respected for recognizing that the employees of Bush Hog were just as important as the executives and always gave credit to the hard working employees for the success of Bush Hog, a company which has been anchored in Selma since 1955 and still produces the same great product, the Bush Hog. He was serving as President of Bush Hog when he retired.
Buster served on the Executive Committee of the Paul Grist YMCA, served on the Board of Directors of Peoples Bank & Trust Company, served as a Director of the West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center, was President of the Southern Farm Equipment Manufacturing Association, and was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Selma for the past 60 years.
Visitation will be at Lawrence Brown Service Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 27, 5:30 until 8:30 PM. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church under the direction of Dr. Jerry W. Light, Senior Pastor, at 1:00 PM. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Christian Outreach Alliance Food Pantry P.O. Box 2452, Selma, AL 36702-2452 or Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention@ www.afsp.donordrive.com
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