W. Russell Buster Jr.

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Selma lost an outstanding business and civic leader on July 26, 2016, when W. Russell Buster, Jr., 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; sister, Virginia B. Hollinger, of Camden; 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; great grandchildren, Reed Payne, Will Payne, Bradford Payne, Grace Payne, William Buster, Caroline Buster, Elizabeth Buster, Mary Virginia Buster, Drew Glennon and Ben Glennon; nieces, Kendall Buster-Allen (Siemon), of Richmond, Virginia, and Caroline H. Anderson (Claude), of Selma; and nephew, Shannon Hollinger (Fran), of Camden.

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Buster graduated from Parrish High School in 1941 and attended Auburn University before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1943. He served in England, France and Germany.

After WWII, Buster returned to his hometown and was employed by Southland Mower, then Rawls Machine and Supply, where he experimented with a design for a heavy duty rotary mower. Afterward, Buster went to work for an upstart company that would eventually manufacture the tractor-pulled mower he helped develop and would later be known as the Bush Hog.

He was greatly respected for recognizing that Bush Hog employees were just as important as the executives and he always gave credit to the hard working employees for the success of Bush Hog. He was serving as Bush Hog president when he retired.

During his time, Buster gave many hours to a variety of committees and roles including serving the Executive Committee of the Paul Grist YMCA, the Board of Directors of Peoples Bank & Trust Company, as the West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center director and Southern Farm Equipment Manufacturing Association president.

He was also 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, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church under the direction of  Dr. Jerry W. Light, senior pastor, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 28.

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 at www.afsp.donordrive.com

You may visit www.LawrenceBrownService.com or www.facebook.com/lawrencefh to offer the family condolences.