Martin P. Busch

Martin P. Busch, known fondly as �the father of South Dakota Public Broadcasting�, passed away quietly April 15, 2011 at his Grand Villas home in Atchison, KS.

Busch was born on March 29, 1922 to Paul and Marie (Roemer) Busch in Wolsey. After graduating from Wolsey High School in 1940 he attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. He began his career in Wolsey as a music teacher and as principal after returning as a Naval Lt. Commander during World War II, attending the University of South Dakota, and earning his BFA Degree in 1948.

After moving to and teaching in Brookings, he became program director for KUSD-AM Radio in 1954 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. At that time he also began his MFA degree and also was a professor of the fledgling �communications� department.

 His love for, and deep knowledge of, the classics evolved into a popular show �The Classics�. As his broadcasting career expanded he was appointed executive director of the South Dakota Public Broadcasting system in 1960 and served the people of South Dakota in the development of the statewide multimedia network.

KUSD-TV, channel 2, the flagship station went on the air in 1961, the first educational television in the state and part of his vision that everyone in the state, especially children in schools, should have access to educational programming.

As the TV stations were constructed, each was designed to add the �new� FM band radio transmissions statewide. His vision culminated with SDPB TV operating nine transmitters and six translators and public radio operating 10 translators. And during his tenure, he participated in the early development of similar state systems in the three-state area as well as nationally in the development of National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS (Public Broadcasting System).

Busch was honored in October 2010 having the SDPB headquarters studios, in the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota dedicated to his vision and service.

In addition to meeting and developing many professional and personal friendships throughout South Dakota and the nation, Busch was well-known for his radio show �The Bookshop,� which spanned over six decades from 1956 to 2001.

Busch�s community leadership involved countless years of involvement in local, regional and national civic, fraternal and business organizations in Vermillion and later, after his retirement, in Rapid City. He was also a member of the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

He enjoyed reading, music and choirs, classic cars, flying his airplane and most of all his Harley friends and bike trips he took into his early 80�s. In his last 15 years he was an avid participant in Cardiac Rehabilitation in Rapid City and at Atchison Hospital.

Busch is survived by three sons, David and Stephan (Rae Ellen) of Atchison, KS and Harlan (Frances) Busch, La Cieba, Honduras; one daughter, Annalisa of Hastings, MN; and four grandchildren, Angela Moeckly of Tucson, AZ, Patrick Busch of La Cieba, Honduras, and Stephanie and Christina Busch of Atchison, KS.

Services were held Wednesday, April 20 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion. Visitation was one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the church. Burial was in BluffView Cemetery with military honors conducted by V.F.W. Clay County Post #3061.

Memorials can be made to SDPB Friends, P.O. Box 5000, Brookings, SD 57006-5000.

Kober Funeral Home in Vermillion is in charge of arrangements.

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