Harold Donald "Don" Bussell


Last updated 3/20/2024 at 11:10am

Harold Donald "Don" Bussell

Harold Donald "Don" Bussell peacefully departed this life on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the age of 101. He was born to Sarah Jane (Smith) Bussell and Orrin Mack Bussell on Friday, February 23, 1923, in Webb City, Oklahoma. Don is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Grenard, and son, James Bussell, and his loyal companion, his dog, Sancho. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Muriel Bussell.

At about the age of four, Don and his parents moved from Webb City, to a farm near his paternal grandparents near Koshkonong, Missouri. Don attended grades one through eight at a country one-room school. He attended Koshkonong High School for grades 9 through 11.

At the age of 18, Don enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to help provide for his family. He was released from the CCC and joined his father doing carpentry work on army bases being built near Salina, Kansas and McCook, Nebraska. He and his father then caught a ride from another person looking for work, and they all headed to Richland, Washington to help construct the Manhattan Project. In 1944, at the age of 21, Don returned to Missouri where he attended West Plains High School and completed his high-school diploma. From 1945 to 1948 he worked as a carpenter, constructing concrete forms for Ross Dam in Northern Washington state.

On December 26, 1948, Don married Muriel Shepard, his wife of 72 years. In 1949 Don was drafted into the Army and they moved to Fort Bliss, Texas. Following his "one year and one day" of active service as a RADAR operator/repairman, he and Muriel returned to Richland, WA, where he worked at the Hanford site as a chemical operator. He later transitioned to become a safety technician, ensuring the maintenance of supplied air respiratory protection equipment until his retirement in 1988.

An adventurer at heart, Don spent his early retirement summers traveling in his motorhome. A highlight was exploring the Alcan Highway into Alaska and embracing the natural wonders he observed. He was deeply dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America, completing the Woodbadge training course and serving as an advisor to the Order of Arrow members. His commitment was honored with the prestigious Order of Arrow Founder's Award and the Silver Beaver Award in 1992.

Known for his remarkable woodworking skills, Don crafted intricate bookshelves, bookcases, and other woodworking projects, showcasing his talent and creativity. He found great fulfillment in nurturing the lives of his grandchildren, imparting wisdom, and sharing his passions with them. He was a fearsome Checkers opponent. He was a member of Richland Baptist Church.

A time for family and friends will be held at the Events Center at Sunset Gardens in Richland (915 Bypass Highway, Richland) from 10am to noon in Richland, on Saturday, March 30, and a graveside service following at 1pm. Strate Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


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