The Passing of Willard "Bill" Busl

To the Williams Community:

I was saddened to learn of the death of Willard “Bill” Busl, 92, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., who worked in Campus Safety and Security at Williams for 25 years. He passed away March 8 in Port St. Lucie.

Bill was born in 1924 in Williamstown and served for four years in the South Pacific with the Marine Corps during World War II. In addition to working at Williams, he was widely known in the faith community in the Berkshires. He was a life deacon at First Baptist Church in North Adams and a pastor at the Stamford Community Church. He also served at Florida Mountain Baptist, Pownal Baptist, and White Oaks Community churches, and he volunteered for decades with his wife, Barbara, at the First Baptist Camp in Hinsdale.

A member of our staff from 1963 to 1989, Bill would happily come back to work special details even after he retired. His last detail was guarding the football field overnight for the Homecoming game with Amherst. In his 80s at the time, he chased some mischievous Amherst students over a fence, injuring himself in the process. While being treated in the emergency room, he apologized for letting the Amherst students get away. Bill was a tough guy with a soft touch and a kind heart, and it’s not uncommon to hear alumni talk of the positive impact he had on their lives.

Once Bill and Barbara retired to Florida, their work with young people continued. They volunteered their time at a school in south St. Petersburg working with at-risk children. And Bill, with his lifelong love of golf, became a golf coach at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, coaching many students to championships.

In addition to Barbara, his wife of nearly 70 years, Bill is survived by a son, Gerrick and his wife Jill of Port St. Lucie; a daughter, Carla and her partner Eric Johnson of Greenville, S.C.; four grandchildren: Gretchen, Joshua, Matthew, and Hannah; five great-grandchildren: Alexis, Emma, McKenzie, Alma, and Huxley; and a sister, Elna Jeffers of Alameda, Calif.

There will be a celebration of Bill’s life on July 2 at First Baptist Church in North Adams.

Our thoughts are with Bill’s family and friends.


Adam Falk