Honoured by Emmette F. Busch.
This is a story of a 52-year marriage based on love for one another and for humankind, and especially for neighbours.
Elva Mae Read and Emmette Busch were married on August 23, 1958, at Trinity United Church in North Bay, after a five-year courtship. They would have married sooner, but they waited until Emmette had a secure job with Canadian Johns-Manville in North Bay.
For Emmette, it was pretty well love at first sight when he met Elva at her parents’ home on First Ave. West, where Emmette was a boarder and drove truck for Seven-Up. As well, he was serving with the Canadian Army Reserve, Algonquin Regiment, and maybe the uniform had something to do with Elva Mae being attracted to this young man. He asked her to an Army dance at old Chippewa Barracks and they danced the night away. And thus began the Love Story for Elva
Mae and Emmette.
She loved to dance from the two-step to square dancing and everything in between. Emmette was a square dance caller, with Elva always right there, for bands led by Leo Lamothe, and several other North Bay western bands.
“We were always together. Always. We didn’t go anywhere without each other,” Emmette says, “even fishing.”
Emmette mainly operated heavy equipment and for the past 22 years, has been a Security Guard at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse. “The Sisters are part of my Family,” he says. Elva Mae, for many years, worked at the old American Optical Company above the Bank of Commerce on Main Street at Fraser. Her work was exacting and demanding that involved following a prescription to grind and form the lens properly and then install it in an eye glasses frame. She was considered one of
the best optical technicians in the Company.
Elva was just a little woman but her energy was boundless. She loved to dance, play darts, shuffleboard, knit and crochet everything from baby sweaters to blankets—all for someone else’s
child, because Elva Mae and Emmette didn’t have children of their own.
She was a member of the Legion Auxiliary at Callander Legion Branch for 40 years, where she worked in the kitchen, worked as a server and carried Colours on parade. Emmette remains a Legionnaire with 45 years’ service.
Her c0mmunity work and love of and for neighbors and other friends was seemingly limitless. She drove folks to hospital for an x-ray, the drug store for a prescription, to the grocery store, drove for Meals on Wheels and would never say no to a friend.
Elva Mae and Emmette were so special in their Jane Street West neighbourhood because so many of the area kids made the Buschs’ home their second home. “These neighbourhood kids were our kids” is how Elva felt. One very special girl in the neighbourhood is Linda Hayhurst, then Linda Rogers, who was a frequent visitor to the Busch home from age three. Today, she and her husband live in the Sault with their children and not a week goes by without a call to Emmette.
That wonderful love story of Elva Mae and Emmette ended on April 20, 2010 when cancer took her. But Emmette carries on their tradition for their Jane Street “neighbourhood family” and friends, and mostly the Sisters at the Mother House.