Robert Busby, the face of a community

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OLD TOWN LANSING — Old Town residents, family and friends celebrated the life of beloved former Mayor Robert Busby and his vision for their community at The Winter Party of the Season.

On Sunday, Jan. 26, the Creole Gallery was home to live music as guests came to show appreciation for Robert Busby, and show support for the Robert Busby Memorial Park created in his honor.

Remembering a loss

Busby was murdered in Feb. 2007, and since then, members of the community have worked to keep his legacy alive.

“He was a pioneer in Old Town, he was the first person to buy a building and see a vision,” said Meegan Holland, Busby’s life partner for 10 years. She described him as a community builder who brought people together to see a bigger picture.

Busby was the original owner of the Creole Gallery, which is now run by his daughter Ena Busby.

“Old Town was a place where you could come and express yourself and find the freedom to express yourself. There is a togetherness about the people here, they become family,” Ena said.

Many in Old Town said they remember the mayor for his outreach to artists and members of the LGBT community.

Rob Curtner, Busby’s longtime friend and racquetball opponent, described Busby’s infectious smile and ability to listen.

“He left this wonderful gallery and a place to live in a thriving arts community,” Curtner said.

The business side of Busby

Although Busby inspired many to become part of the community, he also inspired people who were helping to further his vision.

“When he passed away it motivated me to believe that people deserved to get what they want from their community,” said Brittney Hoszkiw, who met Busby while interning for the Old Town Commercial Association.

“Robert [Busby] represented the responsibility I had to the community and business owners,” Hoszkiw said.

Racha Kardahji who met Busby late in his life in 2006 while working for the Old Town Commercial Association, said over the roar of the music and people socializing, “He was Old Town.”

Contact Reporter: Victoria Bowles, (810) 429- 1079, bowlesvi@gmail.com

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