Agnes E. “Nora” Busch of Peconic Landing in Greenport, formerly of Smithtown and Uniondale, N.Y., passed away at home Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, at the age of 96.
Nora was born March 8, 1927, in Monett, Miss., to Eva (Decker) and Henry Schulte. She was an only child. She moved several times before the age of 10, but her family settled in Columbus, Ind. She graduated as valedictorian from Columbus High School with the Class of 1943. This was during the height of World War II, when women were taking over jobs formerly filled by men. Nora had difficulty preparing her valedictory speech because, in her words, “The usual ‘this is just the beginning’ message just did not cover the situation.” Thoughts of the bombing of Pearl Harbor occupied the students’ junior year.
By the beginning of 1943, many of Nora’s male classmates were in the armed services. During her senior year in high school, Nora worked full-time at a bank and then traveled to the high school for lunch and to edit the Triangle newspaper. She also had a part in the senior play. After high school, she spent time studying at Cincinnati University before going on to explore different career paths including that of a bank cashier, flight attendant and teletype operator for TWA.
Nora eventually went on to earn her Master of Social Work degree from Adelphi University and continued her education by enrolling in night classes at Nassau Community College. Her degree and expertise led to a career in social work at the Center for Developmental Disabilities. After retiring from social work, Nora started volunteering with the Eastern Long Island Hospital Auxiliary in 1996 as one of the “Pink Ladies.” This began when she was at the hospital for a routine procedure and she noticed a sign for Volunteer Services. She inquired, was put in touch with Toni Demeo and, as Nora put it, “the rest was history.”
Nora was ELIH Auxiliary president for two terms and served on the Board of Trustees during those terms. She lent her time and talent in the hospital and at a multitude of community events, including the annual Maritime Festival and Dream Green fundraiser. Nora acted as secretary and treasurer for ELIH Volunteer Services and treasurer for the ELIH Auxiliary’s Corner Shop. She worked one day per week at the ELIH Opportunity Shop and two days per week at the hospital. Lastly, she filled the roles of corresponding secretary and nominating secretary on the Auxiliary Board.
In addition to her impressive resume of volunteer work experience, Nora had an equally extraordinary spirit. She was a true inspiration to those who had the privilege of working with her. Her positivity was infectious. She even went skydiving to celebrate her 80th birthday. Nora’s selfless service and dedication to ELIH and to her community has left a lasting impression on all of those who had been lucky enough to encounter her along the way. More than anything, Nora loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed her regular visits with friends from long ago to present.
Predeceased by her first husband, Edward Walden, and her second husband, Walter Busch, Nora is survived by her children, whom she shared with Edward: Linda Laymon (Lynn) of Arizona., Carol Tierney of Manorville, N.Y., and Edward Walden (Nora) of New Jersey; stepdaughter Eileen Skaller (Richard) of Middle Island, N.Y.; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many, many friends.
The family received friends Thursday, Nov. 16, at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Funeral services were held during the visitation and officiated by Caren Heacock. Interment was held at Rockville Cemetery in Lynbrook, N.Y.
This is a paid notice.