Alfred Lowell Bussell was born to J.E. and Susan Busell on October 3, 1924, in Long Beach, California, the sixth of seven children. The family moved to the Rosedale area in 1928. Al graduated from Kern County Union High School in 1942 and attended Bakersfield College until he entered the U.S. Army in May 1944.
In November 1944, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, 22nd Regiment Combat Team, B Company. In the Battle of the Huertgen Forest, B Company was overrun by an enemy counterattack. Al was captured and held a prisoner of war in Germany. The camp was liberated April 22, 1945. Al was awarded two Bronze Stars, a P.O.W. Medal and a Mid-East African European Medal. Also, the 22nd was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for Bravery.
After the war, Al returned to Bakersfield and started his farming career. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Eddy Cornelson in 1946. The two were lovingly committed to each other and their family through 58 years of marriage.
Al was named Kern Countys Outstanding Young Farmer in 1958, the first of a number of awards earned for excellence in farming, including, one year, Germain Seeds highest-yield corn acreage in the nation. He was a pioneer in establishing the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, and through the years was in many organizations including Kern County Hay Growers Association, Farm Bureau, Rotary, and the Kern Chapter of Ex-POWs. Al was also an active member of the Greenacres Baptist Church.
Over time, Al converted a portion of his farm from conventional farming to a pick-your-own operation, The Al Bussell Ranch, which, until it closed, was one of the largest direct market farms in California and one of the best-known farms in Kern County.
The love for his wife, Mary Eddy, devotion to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his large extended family was the constant theme of his life. Blessed with a first-rate temperament and boundless optimism, he generously shared with everyone his unique wit and zest for life.
Retirement gave Al the time to deepen his relationship with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Al had placed his complete trust in Christs death on the cross as the full payment for his sins and the only way to be made right with God. Als total assurance of eternal life through faith in Christ increasingly became the focal point of his latter years, a source of strength through his long illness, and a sure and certain hope that gave him great joy and peace.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Norman Bussell, Sr.; James Edward Bussell, Jr.; Virgil Bussell; and T.J. Bussell; sister, Thelma Bussell; and niece, Julie (Alicia) Clerico.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Eddy; son, Bart, his wife, Patrice and children, Caleb, Joshua, Rebekah, Andrew, and Sarah Zervis, her husband, Jim and children, Basil, Julia, and Helena; son, Michael, his wife Liz and daughters, Abigail and Lily; daughter, Sallie Othart, her husband, Bernard and children, Elizabeth and Nicolas; sister, Sofiea Clerico; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service celebrating Als life will be held at Greenacres Baptist Church, 2550 Jewetta (Rosedale Hwy. & Jewetta) 93312, Tuesday, April 13, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a memorial fund at the church. For additional information, please contact Basham Funeral Care 873-8200.
Basham Funeral Care