Henry Busch, who earned the nickname "Mr. Sports" for his nearly 50 years of service to youth and recreational organizations in the Madison area, died Saturday. He was 69.
Busch was never an athlete himself but dedicated his life to creating opportunities for others to participate.
From serving as a student manager for the football and basketball teams at defunct Wisconsin High School, to his more than 40 years with the Madison Schools Community Recreation organization, Busch was an omnipresent figure at sports facilities in the city.
Busch, who loved all sports but was first and foremost a baseball fan, sponsored several clubs that bore his name, coordinated fundraising drives and collected and tabulated box scores that he delivered for publication in the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times.
He was the first commissioner of the Madison Parochial Sports League which was re-named Madison Independent Sports League, and served in that capacity for 23 years.
He was the recipient of the J. Martin Wolman Outstanding Service Award in 2002, was awarded the title of "Mr. Olympian" from the Madison Service Club, and was recognized by the State Journal for significant contributions to the welfare of children.
Busch suffered a stroke in 2001 that limited his mobility and involvement, and eventually moved to Oak Park Place Nursing Home.
A funeral mass was held on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, 2450 Atwood Avenue, Madison. Burial followed at Roselawn Cemetery, Monona.