Edward Buss

Obituary of Edward George Buss

Edward G. Buss of State College, PA passed away Saturday, July 10, 2021 at Foxdale Village just shy of his 100th birthday. Born on August 28, 1921 and raised on the family farm near Concordia, Kansas, Ed was the son of the late George and Kathryn Luginsland Buss. He graduated from high school in Holton, Kansas, where he was recognized as an outstanding alumnus. Ed received a B.S. degree in 1943 from Kansas State College and Applied Science (now Kansas State University). Ed served four years in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne Division, in World War II, attaining the rank of Captain. Ed then attended Purdue University and earned the MS degree in 1949 in poultry genetics. In 1956, Ed was awarded his PhD in genetics, also from Purdue. Ed joined the faculty at Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University) as an Assistant Professor of Poultry Husbandry and was named acting Head of the Department in 1950; the position he held until 1955. While leading the department he also taught numerous courses and laboratories. In 1956, Ed came to the Pennsylvania State University as Associate Professor in the Poultry Science Department, was promoted to Professor of Poultry Science in 1965 and to Professor of Agriculture in 1983. Following retirement, he became Emeritus Professor of Agriculture in 1987. Throughout his career Dr. Buss conducted a wide variety of extensive research programs in poultry genetics resulting in more than 150 publications. Ahead of his time, Dr. Buss initiated and lead inter-college research projects with colleagues in the College of Science. His research regarding gene expression received funding for nineteen years from a National Institutes of Health grant. He presented his research papers throughout the world, including Europe and Southeast Asia. For almost twenty years Dr. Buss taught up to 500 students annually in the basic genetics course in the College of Science. He had a keen interest in working with and mentoring undergraduate students, including twenty-seven students over nineteen years who chose special topics in genetics research. The research often resulted in the student's first publication. During his career, Dr. Buss also guided the research of graduate students. Many of his students credit his personal encouragement as critical to their careers. From 1969-1974, he was chairman of the graduate school Inter-College Program for genetics. He was a University Faculty Senator and was also elected to the Graduate Council and the Graduate Council Executive Committee. He was an advisor for Alpha Zeta fraternity and the Science Interest House on campus. He held membership in Sigma Xi, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta, and the social fraternity, Farm House. Ed was an honorary faculty electee in Phi Eta Sigma. Dr. Buss was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Poultry Science Association. He served as a panel member on the Commission for Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. He also served on the governing board of the Council of the American Genetic of 2 2 Association, was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and was an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the Council for Agriculture and Scientific Technology. His professional memberships also included the American Society of Zoologists, Genetics Society of America, Society for the Study of Reproduction, and the World's Poultry Science Association. Dr. Buss was an associate editor of Poultry Science. Following retirement, Dr. Buss served as a Senior Scientist for BioPore, Inc. and also advised poultry firms in Indonesia and India. In 1988, he was a Fulbright Lecturer in Sierra Leone, West Africa for four months and, in 1996, he was an International Executive Service Corps Volunteer in Egypt. In the State College community Ed took an active part in Boy Scout Troop 31, was president of the Citizen's Association for the State College Area Schools, and was a Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of the Unitarian Fellowship of Centre County. He was a member of the local Torch Club and served as its President. During his years as President, his club was named the outstanding club by The International Association of Torch Clubs. Ed received the Silver Torch Award, the International Organization's highest award, for his thirty-four years of service and leadership. He was active in the State College South Neighborhood Association and elected President. He also served as a member of the State College Borough Authorities Board and was a member of its Special Committee to Review the Business Tax. Ed was also elected Precinct Committee Man. Ed became known throughout the community as the initiator of the "Ed Buss System": a neighbor-to-neighbor outreach program to encourage voters by personal visitation to exercise their right to vote, regardless of political party. The system worked successfully to get the vote out in record numbers and is still valued today. For his active participation and service to his community, Ed received the XYZ award from the State College Bureau Council. In 2016, Centre County Democratic Committee recognized this extraordinary public service by awarding him their Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed is predeceased by his wife of sixty-six years, Dorothy Arvidson Buss, formerly of West Lafayette, Indiana. Survivors include daughter, Ellen (William) Westrick of Naples, Florida and Ocean City, New Jersey; son, Norman (Janet Jellison) of Bridgton, Maine; two grandsons, Kyle and Trevor (Kathryn Cella); two great-grandsons, Dylan and Owen; two sisters, Luella Dick (Lester, deceased) of Springfield, Missouri and Leota Ester (Lee, deceased) of Evanston, Illinois, and eleven nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother, Marvin (Lynn; also deceased) of St. Louis, Missouri and brother-in-law, Robert (Janet, deceased) Arvidson of Des Moines, Iowa. Ed and his wife were charitable contributors to numerous organizations including WPSU-FM, Pattee Library, 4H organizations, and multiple WWII historical organizations. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Pennsylvania State University Libraries and mailed to 510 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802. Please indicate the "Libraries Future Fund" in the memo line or call (814) 865-2258. A celebration of life gathering will be held at a later date and time. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College, PA. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com
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