Orville Busby, known to most everyone as Buzz, died December 8,
2012 at the age of 75. He had been a member of the Lincoln City
Council for decades and was known as the council historian as he
could bring to remembrance nearly every significant issue the
council ever faced while he was in office. He left behind his wife
Judy and three daughters: Chris, Cince and Cass.
Nathan Turner was only 29 years old when he died on February 7,
2010. He was the youngest member of the Lincoln City Council. Turner
was sworn into the office on May 1 of 2009, having been elected in a
contested race against incumbent Wanda Lee Rohlfs. Nathan left
behind his wife Sarah and their young son Benjamin.
Though the two men were generations apart in age, they shared many
common goals and ideals. Both were representatives of ward one in
the city. They both were known in the council as leaders rather than
followers. They never went along with an idea without giving it much
thought and considering what affect their vote would have on not
only the people of their ward, but the people of the whole city.
Both men were fiscally responsible, and Busby in particular was
known as a fiscal watchdog in the city council.
On Monday evening, when Mayor Keith Snyder stepped forward to offer
the dedication of the park to these two aldermen, he had many kind
words to say about both men, and noted that they both left the
council too soon.
He said it was fitting that the green space be named after the two
for many reasons. He noted first that the park is in what was then
In addition, he said both would have been pleased that the property
for the park was obtained as a result of land acquisition as part of
a development agreement. The city purchased the property from the
parent corporation of Neal Tire Company. They were then able to
re-structure the parking spaces on that side of the street. This was
done to provide more parking for the Blue Dog Inn that was planning
an expansion of their business.
Snyder noted both men were business minded and supported the growth
of local business.
In addition, Snyder noted the two pieces of local art that occupy
the north and south ends of the park. He said the work had been done
by local artists and donated to the city by the artists.
“Both Buzz and Nathan watched the purse strings of the city pretty
closely. They would have liked that the artists thought enough of
the city to donate both of those pieces to the city.” Snyder laughed
as he continued his comments saying, “Now I think Buzz would
probably have a comment about both pieces of art, but he would have
liked the fact they were donated.”
Snyder went on to say that he could assure everyone there was not a
meeting go by but what both Buzz and Nathan were thought of by the
aldermen. “We miss them,” he said, “and we loved having them and
working alongside them. Both were taken far too soon.”
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Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs also spoke briefly. She commented
about the years she spent sitting next to Buzz in the council
chamber and his love for Tootsie Rolls.
She then held up the red ink pen that had been given to her and
all the council members and department heads by Buzz. The pens
were given out by Buzz during the budget meetings in a year when
the city was facing some serious deficits due to the declining
economy. (In the year Busby gave out the pens, he told the
aldermen and department heads that he felt they needed to cut
the budget and then cut again, because the city coffers were
declining as were the revenues, and the city had to be
responsible for its cash.) Tibbs said she and several other
aldermen still have their pens, and they serve as a reminder of
Buzz and his insistence that the group be mindful of the city’s
She also spoke about Nathan Turner as being a remarkable young
man who was dedicated to his role as an alderman.
When Tibbs finished, Judy Busby offered up a “Thank you” to
everyone in attendance. She said she was very surprised to see
so many come out for the dedication. Sarah Turner had similar
expressions of surprise.
She commented further saying it had been a shock to know that
people still cared deeply about Nathan, and she felt honored
that her husband was going to be remembered in the city for a
She also commented on Nathan’s relationship with Buzz. She
remembered that when Nathan decided to run for city council,
Buzz was the first one to step up and say “yes,” that Nathan
belonged on the council.
She said Nathan admired and respected Buzz, and nearly every
meeting night would come home with comments about Buzz from his
amazing ability to recount the city history, to his knowledge of
the city codes and by-laws.
She said, “It means a lot that you even did this, but the fact
that you are doing this together is just amazing.”
Snyder began bringing the dedication to a close telling the
group that he had learned from Nathan’s young son Ben that the
park was not yet finished. He said, “Ben told me in no uncertain
terms that this park needs a playground!”
At the center of the park are two wooden benches and a vine
arbor. A concrete podium has been constructed with a plaque on
top dedicating the park to Busby and Turner. On Monday evening,
Snyder presented Judy Busby and Sarah Turner with small stone
replicas of the commemorative plaque as a personal remembrance
of the respect the city holds for these two men.
[By NILA SMITH]