William Busch Sr., 84, Navy officer, brewery foreman


William E. Busch Sr., a retired Baltimore brewery foreman and machinist and a former Navy officer, died of cancer Tuesday at his home in Pasadena. He was 84.

Mr. Busch was 17 when he quit school and joined the Navy to help his father, also a Baltimore machinist, with the family's finances, said his son William E. Busch Jr. of Baltimore. He joined the Navy with a plan to leave military service at age 21, but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred two days before his 21st birthday.

He re-enlisted and rose through the ranks, retiring as a full lieutenant in 1953. He served in Hawaii, Panama and the Aleutian Islands, among other places, and retired from the Navy in Akron, Ohio. He and his wife, the former Marie Furman, returned to the Baltimore area, where he worked for three years as a machinist at Crown Cork & Seal Co., and then for 25 years as a maintenance and production foreman at the old Carling and Schaefer breweries.

After his retirement, he and his wife enjoyed taking the bus to Atlantic City to play the nickel and quarter slots and, occasionally, the lottery. Mr. Busch fantasized about striking it rich and spreading the wealth among his family, his son recalled.

Later, when he became too ill to travel to Atlantic City, his son Mark A. Busch of Pasadena would drive him to Dover Downs casino in Delaware.

Mr. Busch and his wife also enjoyed traveling to see family and spent long stretches in Hawaii during the 1980s when their daughter Mary K. Oshiro, now a resident of Dundalk, lived there.

Three years ago, Mr. Busch and his wife moved from Dundalk to Pasadena to live with their daughter Donna M. Naylor, a project manager for Northrop Grumman Corp.

"Dad was an honest, hardworking man who instilled that into all of his seven children," said William Busch Jr., a project manager for a mechanical contractor in Baltimore.

Mr. Busch was a member of Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Dundalk for nearly 40 years and was a member of Our Lady of the Chesapeake Roman Catholic Church in Pasadena.

A funeral Mass was offered Saturday at Our Lady of the Chesapeake Church.

In addition to his wife of 59 years and his sons and daughters, he is survived by two other sons, John L. Busch of Dundalk and Thomas J. Busch of Perry Hall; another daughter, Florence Busch of Dundalk; 18 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


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