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James C Bussard
April 6, 1928 ~ January 24, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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James Calvin Bussard of Youngwood, PA was a man of many nicknames, including “Jim,” “Buzz,” “Daddy,” and “Pap.” Born April 6, 1928, to Carl and Rosella Bussard, James, an only child, grew up attending and graduating from Youngwood High School. He went on to marry Doris I. Craig of Greensburg, PA in 1949 and together they had two daughters: Karen J. in 1951 and Linda L. in 1953. A compassionate father and husband, James embodied many gentlemanly and tender-hearted characteristics, seldom hesitating to put the needs and wants of his family first, such as when his daughters repeatedly expressed an intense desire to own and care for a new household pet. James’ dutifulness also extended into his role as a weld shop foreman at ITE—now ABB—in South Greensburg where he worked for nearly 40 years.
Throughout his life, and especially after retiring from ABB, James was known to friends and family alike as the consummate handyman despite little-to-no formal training. His expertise and hands-on experience concerning quality home improvement knew no bounds. Whether it involved woodworking, ductwork, plumbing, roofing, or electrical wiring just to name a few, James knew not only how to do it, but how to do it well; or, as he would describe it, “the right way.”
Apart from being “Mr. Fix-It,” James maintained plenty of interests and hobbies which kept him active for many years. While he would be hard pressed to describe himself as athletic, he did indeed appreciate sports, particularly football, baseball, and NASCAR. His interest in cars was not limited to auto racing as James was infamous for treating those he loved to leisurely cruises in his well-cared-for convertible, often with the top down when the weather permitted. He also frequented nearby bowling alleys and participated in several recreational leagues. When he wasn’t bowling, James spent many afternoons and evenings at the Mt. Pleasant Senior Center socializing with friends and acquaintances alike. A lifelong Lutheran, he attended service at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Youngwood, PA and fostered lasting friendships with many in the congregation as well as the pastors.
While James led a rich and varied life, it unfortunately wasn’t without hardship and heartbreak. Toward the end of his life, James garnered the tragic distinction of outliving everyone in his immediate family, being preceded in death by not only his parents, but by his wife and, recently, his two daughters, as well. It is not hyperbole to say he was never the same after the deaths of his children; but then again, no father in his position would be. James died Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at Westmoreland Manor in Greensburg and is survived by sister-in-law Joan E. Smith of Greensburg, son-in-law Gregory E. Ruffo of Armbrust, PA, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. There will be no memorial service and his internment will be private. In lieu of sympathy gifts, the family asks that those willing to pay their respects make a charitable donation in James’ name to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church at 126 N. 4th St., Youngwood, PA, 15697.
James epitomized the most admirable qualities one associates with husbands, fathers, and grandfathers. He was quick witted, genuine to a fault, unconditionally kind, irrepressibly upbeat, and unwaveringly diligent in his dedication to his loved ones. His spirit and the warmth it engendered is and will be gravely missed by all who were privileged enough to know him. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “We shall not see his like again.”