Died 26 January 2020
Jesuit Father Louis E. Busemeyer died on Jan. 26, 2020, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 81 years old.
Fr. Busemeyer was born on Dec. 21, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He entered the former Chicago Province on Sept. 1, 1959, at Milford Jesuit Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained at St. Joseph Church in Aurora, Illinois, on June 11, 1970 and pronounced final vows at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago on April 22, 1978.
Before entering the Society, Fr. Busemeyer graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. While in the Society, he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1964) and a Master of Divinity degree (1972) from Loyola University Chicago. He also earned a master's degree in education from Xavier University in Cincinnati (1970).
During regency, Fr. Busemeyer taught English at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois (1964-1967). After ordination, he worked for a decade at Saint Ignatius College Prep (SICP) in Chicago. He taught math (1971-1981) and was athletic director (1972-1978). Fr. Busemeyer then was director of the Voyageur Wilderness Programme in Ontario, Canada (1981-1983), a canoeing and camping program which offers cultural, educational and nature-based tourism from Voyageur Island which has undisturbed, pristine wilderness.
After a sabbatical, Fr. Busemeyer returned to SICP for another decade. He was the service program director (1984-1988). He taught math, computers, and was director of the administrative computer services (1988-1995). He left SICP to teach computers at Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, Illinois (1995-1997). Fr. Busemeyer then was an administrative assistant to the Corporate Internship Program at the newly founded Cristo Rey High School in Chicago (1997-2000).
Fr. Busemeyer then went full-time into pastoral ministry. He was the associate pastor of St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora, Illnois (2000-2013) and a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois (2013-2014). In 2014, Fr. Busemeyer was missioned to St. Camillus Jesuit Community to care for his health.
Fr. Busemeyer was a devoted man who loved Christ and the Eucharist. Fr. Busemeyer spent most of his Jesuit life working in secondary education and touched the lives of countless students as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He loved nature and the outdoors—especially the Boundary Waters—and, whenever possible, would canoe, hike, camp, or just appreciate the outdoors. He loved athletic events and enjoyed watching (and attending) sporting events.
Fr. Busemeyer was a wonderful community man and a real "go-to" guy. If you needed anything practical done, a project completed, something fixed or built, or even an errand run, he'd gladly do it. From teaching math with special care for the struggling students, to running an athletic department with very few resources, to beginning a community service program, to helping a new school begin well, Fr. Busemeyer was your man. He was a good listener with practical wisdom that he shared easily, especially when (in the old days) he was smoking his pipe or a good cigar. He worked collaboratively with colleagues long before it was fashionable and was always forthright with his brethren in his house or apostolate. And when physical illness or cognitive diminishment entered his life, he handled it with consummate grace. He was, truly, available throughout his Jesuit life, from start to finish.