Nov 5, 1949 -
Nov 7, 2008
Fletcher Roy "Buster" Brush
It took more than a village to keep Buster Brush busy. Until his untimely death from a heart attack at age 59, Buster spent decades tirelessly working for myriad community, historical, athletic, youth, and safety causes at the local, county, and state levels.
More importantly, he was a mentor to hundreds and a friend to thousands, always ready with open arms and a strong shoulder for those in need.
Buster exemplified the motto of "service above self" as a member and past president of Middlebury Rotary Club. At various times, he served on the boards of National Bank of Middlebury, Middlebury Community House, Middlebury Junior Golf Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont, and Addison County Court Diversion. He was a founding board member of the Youth Safety Council of Vermont and the MHS-MUHS Alumni Association. He held the presidencies or chairs of Addison County Chamber of Commerce, the Salisbury Historical Society, the Salisbury Village Cemetery Restoration Project, the Outreach and Function Group with the Vermont Strategic Highway Safety Plan, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation Golf Tournament Committee.
Buster worked at Co-operative Insurance Companies from 1980 until his death, holding posts from claims adjuster to customer relations manager to VP of Education and Community Relations. His positions at Co-op allowed him to do more of the work he loved, organizing and overseeing youth driver safety training partnerships, community grants and charitable giving programs, and fundraising efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.
He could often be found at Middlebury's Howard E. Brush Arena, which he helped raise the funds to build. He was an avid MAHA supporter and dedicated assistant coach for the Middlebury Union High School varsity hockey team for 13 years. He also found joy in running his trail in Ripton and playing hockey with friends. And in the wee hours, he'd often be found updating his index of Vermont cemeteries on his Web site, www.underbrush.org. (Buster never met a pun he didn't like.)
Buster was awarded the Middlebury College 2007 Citizens’ Medal for outstanding community contributions, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports-Herb Painter Award, Addison County Chamber of Commerce President’s Award, Rotary Community Service Award, Make-A-Wish Foundation Appreciation Award, the Middlebury Lions Club's Melvin Jones Fellowship, and countless other recognitions of his work. Perhaps most telling, though, were the tens of thousands of visits to the update Web site set up during his hospitalization, and the hundreds of mourners who attended his memorial service -- clear evidence of just how many lives Buster touched.