James Charles Busam, 95, of Wake Forest passed away Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at his home. He was born July 16, 1927 in Sandusky, Ohio to the late Eugene Dominic and Florina Minnich Busam. In 1945, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, the same year he graduated from Sandusky High School. He spent a tour of duty in the Pacific and Far East, serving aboard the destroyer escort USS Damon M. Cummings.
After the war, Jim studied at the Milwaukee School of Engineering for his profession as electrical engineer, eventually serving for a time as president of the East Carolina Illuminating Engineering Society.
On September 1, 1952, Jim married the late Grace Arena Bonderer at Holy Angels Church in Sandusky. They soon moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they had six children. In 1972, work relocated the family to North Carolina, and in 1999, Jim and Grace moved from Raleigh to Wake Forest, where Jim became a proud member of the Wake Forest Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 8466.
Jim had many interests throughout his long life. He was serious about his faith, his country, and his family but he had a fun and mischievous side, well documented in the entertaining memoirs he began writing many years ago that bring much of his vast genealogy work to life.
He was active in the Boy Scouts as a boy, and became a Scout Leader as an adult. Camping did not end with Scouts as Jim constructed an enormous tent for his family of eight to enjoy for years. Later, he enjoyed travelling by RV with his grandchildren.
A strong and abiding faith sustained Jim throughout his long life, beginning with his service as an altar boy, choir participation as a young adult, and finally putting the experience of his long career to use in the design and construction of his beloved Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in North Carolina.
Although Jim still has (and, until very recently, used) the bike he rode on his legendary bike ride around Lake Erie as a teenager, his latest favorite has been water aerobics, spending many happy hours with the dear friends he made at Rex Wellness Center.
Jim loved so many friends it is impossible to name them all, but special mention must be made of honorary family for over 65 years Mary and Gary Wolfe of Grafton, Wisconsin.
He was preceded in death by his wife Grace A. Busam, son Kurt C. Busam, grandson Matthew Busam, brother William E. Busam, and sister Joan G. Little.
He is survived by three sons, Lyle E (Catherine) Busam of Wake Forest, Paul J. (Anita) Busam of Ellicott City, MD and Eric W. (Angela) Busam of Rocky Mount, NC; two daughters, Anne C. (William) Dowling of Wendell and Carol M. (David) Norris of Wilmington, NC; a sister, Barbara A. Volz of Sandusky, OH; eleven grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
A Requiem Mass will be held for Jim at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Wake Forest. His family will receive friends Tuesday, August 30, 2022 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Bright Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider the following charities which were dear to Jim's heart:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 1841 North White Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Bright Funeral Home is serving the Busam family.