In Memory

Lee Busby

Lee D. Busby, 82, of Peoria, died at 10:49 am on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at Proctor Hospital.

Lee is survived by his beloved wife, Sheryl, who he married 20 years ago after a long “engagement.”

She took care of him for 16 years after a stroke slowed his active lifestyle in 2005, shortly before his retirement as vice president at Illinois Mutual.

Lee also is survived by one son, Marvin of Mustang, OK; two grandsons, John (Chelly) of Peoria and Joshua of Hazelwood, MO; one stepdaughter, Kristy Harris of Peoria; two stepsons, Mike Cecil of Farmington and Craig Cecil of Peoria; six step grandchildren, Alexis, Maggie, Jonah, Cassie, Sammi and Andrew; four great grandchildren and two step great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by one son, Vernon of Sparland in 2009, and his parents, Vernon and LaVerne.

Lee was an avid boater, and spent most of his Spring through Fall plying the Illinois River with Sheryl—and usually with family and friends in tow. He loved to let his grandchildren sit at his captain’s seat and steer, and they loved him right back.

He served in the Navy and later used his navigational and boating skills to help others. He was a past commander of the Illinois Valley Power Squadron, a national boating safety organization, where he conducted hundreds of safety checks for boat owners. Lee was also D20 Secretary at the time of his stroke. He was also a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Born Jan. 22, 1939 in Taylorville, Lee lived the past three years at 104 Northridge Lane. He and Sheryl loved to have their grandchildren spend the night or weekend, showering them with gifts and treats. They often took them on day trips and would even go get them if their parents were busy.

Lee had a unique and wonderful sense of humor. Once, a new woman employee at Illinois Mutual asked him where to find something, so he told her to “walk this way.” He then began walking like a penguin. Strangely, penguins played a large part of his life. His boat was named “Opus” and his house was filled with a large collection of penguin memorabilia.

Lee will be sorely missed but dearly loved forever.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at Wright & Salmon Mortuary, with Pastor Stephen Barch officiating. Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville, where Lee will rest beside his parents.

Memorials may be made America’s Boating Club. Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto