Howard R. Busby, a retired faculty member and administrator, passed away on June 3 in Glendale, Arizona. He was 85 years old. 

Dr. Busby dedicated his life to improving the lives of Deaf individuals. He was a leader in the fields of deaf education and counseling. He also worked with the Deaf Indigenous community, and was instrumental in bringing closed captioning to mainstream television, and improving Deaf education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Howard Ray Busby was born to Mildred Lucile Tillman Busby and William Howard Busby on October 13, 1937 in Mobile, Alabama. As a young man, he held various jobs, including pipefitter, truck driver, roofer, and baker. He enrolled at Gallaudet, but graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Later, he earned a second bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate, the latter from the University of Arizona. He was a teacher and coach at the Illinois and Kansas Schools for the Deaf. Later, he served as assistant director of the deaf education program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and as principal and counselor at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.  

Dr. Busby worked at Gallaudet from 1983 to 2005. During these 32 years, he was Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Director of the National Academy, Dean of Student Affairs, Vice President for Academic Support and Student Development, and a professor in the Department of Counseling.  

A man of many interests and hobbies, Dr. Busby was a voracious reader, fisherman, cook, world traveler, student of history, and poet. He had published two volumes of his poetry: Tapestries of Silence: Poems, 1956-2019, and Tapestries of Silence: Selected Poems. Passionate about genealogy, he spent 60 years tracing the genealogy of the Tillman and Busby families back for centuries. Howard played football, baseball, and basketball in high school and college, as well as with neighborhood children as a young father. He made people laugh and never shied away from a pun. 
Dr. Busby is survived by his children, Constance Leon, Cynthia Busby, Candy Bailey, and Benjamin Busby, 11 grandchildren; two sisters, and his former second spouse.  
A public memorial service will be held in October 2023; more information will follow. 

Memorial contributions in Dr. Busby’s memory may be made to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation.   

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