Philip Busby, well-known Ada rancher and longtime advocate of Ada's water supply, died Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Mr. Busby was born May 29, 1921, to Orel and Hope Busby of Ada and was delivered at home by his grandmother, Dr. Catherine Threlkeld Brydia, affectionately referred to by many as "Doc Mom."
He attended grade schools in Ada and Oklahoma City and high school at Culver Military Academy and The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended both Oklahoma A&M and the University of Oklahoma, where he was a proud member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. During these years, he often assisted his father, Judge Orel Busby, on various campaigns for judgeships and a campaign for the U.S. Senate. During World War II, he enlisted and was commissioned as an officer. He spent the war years as a U.S. Army drill instructor at Officer Candidate School, preparing young officers for leadership in the war effort.
After the war, he returned home to take over the management of the family's 4B Ranch near Allen. He later established his adjacent Lone-B Ranch. As a rancher, he spent 40 years outdoors, enjoying the benefits of ranching,quail hunting, fishing and sharing the ranches with his children, friends, local families and organizations like the Boy Scouts, Young Democrats and various church groups.
Philip was a lifetime advocate of water conservation, both above and below ground, beginning with his job as a field supervisor for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, ensuring the integrity of plugged oil wells. He was a founder and the first chairman of the Upper Muddy Boggy Creek Watershed Association, which eventually built 41 upstream watershed control lakes in Pontotoc and surrounding counties. He lived to see the achievement of his dream of every acre in Oklahoma under upstream flood control.
He was an original member and enthusiastic supporter of the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer. He served as president of the Pontotoc County Farm Bureau and was active in civic organizations in Ada.
Philip was always active in Ada churches, especially in children's ministries. He taught Sunday school for 10 years at First Baptist Church of Ada and later developed the bus ministry for that church. He was also instrumental in founding Faith Baptist Church of Ada. He had a heart for missions and service and made trips to Haiti, Bolivia, Canada, Mexico and Uganda on various types of church missions during his lifetime of service to the Lord.
Those who knew him remember that he never met a stranger, had more friends than he could keep up with and would always interrupt his workday or weekend for anyone who needed his help. He had a strong, simple faith and a very active guardian angel. The Philip stories describing his scrapes and escapes all over the world are legendary.
He and his wife, Carolyn Boswell Busby, were married in Kilgore, Texas, in 1949, sustained a loving marriage for 67 wonderful years and raised a brood of devoted "Busby Brats," who are grateful for the wisdom, humor and love that filled their home.
The surviving Brats include daughters Catherine Dart of Norman and Marilyn Crawford and her husband, Dave, of Ada; a son, Steve Busby and his wife, Marsha, of Ada; his 12 grandchildren, Sara Reimann, Amy Radtke, Alison, Brian and Philip Dart, Steven and Jake Crawford, Alex and Max Busby, Daniel, Josh and Sarah Dunigan; and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Robert David Busby of Washington, D.C.; his wife, Mary Beth; and numerous adoring nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, John Orel Busby; his amazing daughter, Martha Ann Reimann, the best of us and undisputed leader of the Busby Brats; and his beloved bird dog, Pete. Happy hunting, daddy!
Services are scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at First Baptist Church of Ada.
Published on December 3, 2016