INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Margaret Betty (Conley) Busk, 93, of Indianapolis, Indiana, former resident of Mattoon and Park Forest, Illinois, Menasha, Janesville, Madison, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, peacefully passed away on January 27, 2018 surrounded by family. Betty was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on May 22, 1924. She was the daughter of Giovanna (Grandinetti) and Frank Conley. Frank was the 1910-1911 bantamweight boxing champion of the world. She graduated as a valedictorian from Mary D Bradford High School, Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1942. Betty then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and was awarded a Teacher Certificate. As a student at the university, she was active in leadership roles in the Y.W.C.A. Council (secretary), Orientation, president of the Italian Club, Student Board, Student Life and Interest Committee, Union Activities Bureau, and Schoolmaster’s Club. In her senior year, 1945-1946, Betty was elected and served as president of The Women’s Self Government Association, a leadership position she held with great pride. As a leader, she was ahead of her time making all her offices smoke-free. Betty met her future husband, Robert William Busk, at the University of Wisconsin. On October 1, 1949, they were married in the Thorndyke Hilton Chapel at the University of Chicago. For 68 years they were an inspirational example of a devoted couple.
Betty began her 34 year teaching career at Janesville High School in Janesville, Wisconsin, teaching Latin and English. She then taught grades 1st through 6th in elementary schools in Kenosha and Menasha, Wisconsin, Park Forest and Mattoon, Illinois. As a dedicated teacher who believed in teaching both the heart and the mind, she touched the lives of children, parents, and fellow educators. She was known for her creative teaching style along with her warm and nurturing spirit having used the Golden Rule as her classroom motto. She often said that her students were her teachers as she learned from them as they learned together. Betty was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 1981 in Mattoon, Illinois. She believed in lifelong learning and continued to further her education throughout her career. While teaching, Betty earned a Master of Science in Education from Eastern Illinois University in 1982 joining her husband in the commencement as he received his Master of Arts in Gerontology.
Betty cherished her years teaching and was also an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, Mattoon, Illinois serving as Sunday School teacher and Elder. She held memberships in The University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, American Association of University Women, Delta Kappa Gamma International Honor Society of Key Women Educators, Coles County Special Education Committee, Illinois Retired Teachers Association, Coles County Retired Teachers Association, The Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois, and was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. She volunteered for many organizations including the American Cancer Society.
After her retirement, at age 69, Betty taught as a substitute teacher. With her husband, she enjoyed travel and was involved in community activities including the 1994 re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Charleston, Illinois sponsored by C-Span.
Her children remember her as kind and compassionate to all who knew her. A loving mother, she raised her children to value family, education and the arts, to believe in and think for themselves and, in her words, to be a positive influence for good as everyone belongs to the family of God. Betty’s children and grandchildren were her pride and joy. Her zest for life will live on through them.
Betty is survived by her children, Cynthia (John) O’Callaghan, Dr. Michael (Nancy) Busk, Julia (James) Boyle, grandchildren, Courtney O’Callaghan, Jennifer O’Callaghan, Dr. Margaret (Benjamin Bunch) Boyle, Christopher Boyle, Lindsay Boyle, Chelsea Boyle, Luke Robert Boyle, great granddaughter, Penelope Mae Boyle-Bunch and three nieces. Her husband, Robert William Busk, parents, Giovanna (Grandinetti) Conley, Frank Conley, brother, Tony Conley preceded her in death.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian, Indianapolis, Indiana with visitation at 10:00 am and funeral service at 12:00 pm, Dr. Lewis Galloway and Dr. James Riley officiating. A luncheon will be served at the church following the service. Funeral services are entrusted to Flanner Buchanan-Washington Park North, Indianapolis. On Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. a funeral service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1803 83rd Street Kenosha, Wisconsin, with interment to follow at Green Ridge Cemetery, 6604 7th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Memory of Margaret Betty Busk may be made to the St. Vincent Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260 or the American Lung Association, 55 West Wacker Dr., Suite 1150, Chicago, Illinois 60601.
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” (William Penn)