In Memory

Merle Busch (Science Teacher)

Merle Busch (Science Teacher)

Died: Friday, December 15, 2006
Age: 75


Merle E. Busch, a longtime resident of Kirkwood died Friday, Dec. 15, 2006, at the St. John’s Medical Center from complications of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD). He was 75.

Mr. Busch was born in St. Louis. He graduated from Soldan High School, attended Washington University and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He served in the U.S. Army, First Cavalry, from 1952 to 1954. He was stationed mostly in Japan.

Mr. Busch taught  physics and chemistry at Bayless High School for 43 years. He spent his entire career at Bayless, retiring in 1997. He was featured in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday, May 19, 1996. He recently moved to the Fenton area after living in Kirkwood for 32 years.

Mr. Busch is survived by his wife of 35 years, Susan J. Busch (Zorumski); daughter, Julie E. Busch (Bryan Swearngin) and grandchildren Aliya and Owen Swearngin; son, David M. Busch; sisters, Shirley Helman (Peter), Gerry Weinstein and Dorothy Abram (Alan).

A memorial service was held Dec. 19, at Bopp Chapel in Kirkwood. Mr. Busch was cremated. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association, 61 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10006.

Article from the Post-Dispatch (May 19, 1996):

While Merle Busch was growing up in St. Louis, he decided he would like to be a doctor. But after graduation from Washingon University in 1952, he was drafted. During his two years of Army service, he did some teaching and "found a destiny."

"It was fun to watch people learn what I was teaching," Busch said. And now, after 40 years as a science teacher at Bayless Senior High School, he's still having fun doing that.

To prepare for a teaching career after his military service, Busch went back to Washington U. to take the necessary education courses. His favorite school subject had always been science, so he applied for teaching jobs in that field. The Bayless School District, in south St. Louis County, hired him as the science teacher at its senior high school.

"I was the entire science department," he said. "I taught all four classes, freshman through senior, in biology, chemistry and physics."

Through the years, he has seen many changes in the school, which grew with the area's population, and enormous changes in science. Another change he's seen recently is a big increase in the number of girls in his classes. They are proving to be just as good as boys in science subjects, he said, despite many people's mistaken idea that they aren't.

Busch's wife, Susan, is a teacher in Kirkwood. They have a son, David, 21, living in Kirksville and a daughter, Julie, 23, who is pursuing the career her father once wanted - she's a freshman medical student at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Her dad has no regrets about his career choice.

"There's nothing I would rather do than teach," he said. "I can't tell you the rewards I get daily."