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Celebrating the life of
Charles Michael "Buzz" Lusk, Jr.
November 26, 1923 - May 25, 2014
Rascal with a colorful personality
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Funeral Service
  • 9:00am - Saturday, May 31, 2014
  • Holy Rosary Catholic Church
  • 3617 Milam Street (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77002

  • Visitation
  • 6:00pm- 8:00pm - Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066
  • Rosary
  • 8:00pm - Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066

To Ursula & Children, I am sorry for the loss of a husband and father. May you all rely heavily on God for strength during this time. And find comfort in knowing that God will soon do away with death, pain and mourning forever. (Revelation 21:3-4)

Lorri Mason, Spring, Tx

My condolences to the family during this difficult time. I am truly sorry for your loss. Please find comfort and hope in God's promise found at Revelation 21:3,4.

R gray, Glen Burnie, Md

Charles Michael Lusk, Jr., known as “Buzz”, was born the 26th of November 1923, in Houston, and entered eternal life on Sunday, the 25th of May 2014, at 90 years of age. He was the only child of Charles Michael Lusk, M.D. and Mae Estella Selden Lusk.

Buzz was a bit of a rascal with a colorful personality, someone who thrived on non-compliancy. He attended The Kinkaid School until mid-way through high school, when he finally convinced his father that it was in both Margaret Kinkaid’s and his best interest if he were allowed to change schools: it was because of his and his friends’ behavior that Mrs. Kinkaid held Saturday morning classes.

Buzz finished his last two years of high school at St. Thomas, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Texas A&M College to study agriculture and animal husbandry. WWII interrupted his college years when Buzz enlisted in the US Army Air Corp. Due to his poor vision, however, he failed the eye exam. Still anxious to become a pilot and true to his character, he memorized the eye chart, re-took the test, passed and flew planes in Civil Air Defense. On April 1, 1944, while still in the military, Buzz married his high school sweetheart, Ursula Josephine DeGeorge Guseman, at St. Anne Catholic Church. They had six children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Buzz grew up in an English Tudor home, built by his parents in 1929, on N. MacGregor Dr. in Riverside Terrace. Summers were spent on Clear Lake at the family’s bay house, a two-story white-frame home adjoining Kyle Chapman Park and boat launch. His grandfather, Charles Miles Lusk, had purchased 50 acres but donated about 14 for the park. Will D’Valle was the talented chuck wagon cook for the cattle drives on the James M. West ranch down the road. In the Lusk’s smokehouse, Will taught Buzz to smoke meats and make tasty barbecue sauce. Through his adult life, Buzz’s smoked meats and sauce were legendary. During the summers, Buzz and his best friend used the smokehouse as a concession stand, selling to visitors at the park. Often Buzz played with the children living at the orphanage across the road. At a young age, Buzz worked with animals. There they raised goats, sheep, a horse, hogs and chicken and 400 pigeons with Buzz being in charge of the squabs in the pigeonaires.

After 1901, wildcatting for oil in Texas was rampant and a strike was everyone’s dream. Luck was with Buzz’s dad in 1934 when Dr. Lusk made a discovery, becoming an independent oil operator. In 1940, when Buzz was only 15, his father passed away so Mae Lusk, and eventually Buzz, continued operations.

Prior to his untimely death, Dr. Lusk had been discussing the formation of a contract drilling company. In 1943, the company formed with Mae, an astute businesswoman, as the Lusk partner in PLD Drilling Company. When WWII ended, instead of returning to college, Buzz joined PLD. Buzz recalled workdays were long but each day new and exciting. PLD drilled more than 500 wells for The Texas Company (now Texaco). PLD eventually became Lusk Drilling Company with drilling operations remaining in southeast Texas. In 1957, Buzz and his business-partner mother “sold the tools” and shuttered the drilling company.

Also after WWII, Buzz began farming and ranching, first in Waller, then in Shepherd and thirdly in Alief. Shorthorn cattle, originally from Scotland, were his specialty. Buzz’s proudest moment for his Bar L Ranch was when his heifer, Bar L Clara, became the 1956 Grand Champion Female at the National Polled Shorthorn Congress in Columbus, Nebraska. Buzz traveled with his men to cattle shows across the states. A highlight was flying in the cockpit of a DC-4, converted to cargo, with his Shorthorn cattle and other ranchers’ dairy cows and Angus to consummate a sale to the Republic of British Honduras. Parishioners at St. Michael’s Church bought whole steers. Dixon Packing Company processed and Consolidated Frozen Lockers stored the beef. He raised bees in his backyard, sheep at his mother’s Almeda farm, and cultivated the art of vermicomposting – using worms to turn organic waste into compost – also in his backyard. He was the first in Houston to import George Tabor Azaleas to his Tanglewood garden, having seen them at Bellingrath Gardens. In the 1970s, Buzz became an astute real estate investor.

Intellectually inquisitive, Buzz was an encyclopedia of information and often his peers and family marveled at his memory recall. With a sharp mind and natural charm, he advised his children, “Never ask a man how many acres his ranch has, never ask a man how large his herd is and never ask a man if he has had to kill someone. Never ask a man to loan you his wife, his gun or his underwear, in that order. And never smoke!”

As a teenager, Buzz thrived on mischief. He was proudest of the air horns mounted on the fenders of his car. While Ursula was at Nicosia’s Salon on Main, Buzz drove by blowing his air horns shattering the glass windows. In route to high school, Buzz would drive by St. Agnes with the horns blazing while the nuns paused from teaching. He shattered the windowpanes on a filling station on Westheimer near Shepherd. While driving north on Shepherd approaching Washington Ave, the station attendant gave Buzz the sign to blow. When the air horns sounded, an unknowing attendant starting running south on Shepherd hollering, “Da train done jumped da tracks! Everyone run! Da train done jumped da tracks! Everyone run for your life!”

Endowed with a compact, trim and muscular body, Buzz maintained a fit figure into his 80s. At Kinkaid, he excelled in track, football, soccer and baseball, at St. Thomas in football and ice hockey. Buzz started snow skiing at age 50 with his children and grandchildren. A decade later, he and Ursula purchased a condo in Aspen for his children and grandchildren to share, since most enjoyed Colorado sports and mountains. Buzz skied in Sun Valley, Wolf Creek and Aspen. In his fifties, he also obtained a scuba diving certification. Even in his 60s, he had so much stamina on the water skis that others in the boat on Lake Travis complained they did not get their turns.

Except for excessive tardiness, life with Buzz was fun. He and Ursula were popular chaperones at their children’s events. Because he was a nocturnal creature, he was assigned the late pick-ups. For his children and their friends, that meant late trips to Rettig’s Ice Cream Parlor on West Gray or middle-of-the-night visits to Hanovich’s Bakery to devour crusty hot bread. Buzz said chaperoning the Lamar Choralettes’ trips during the 1960s to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D. C. and the World’s Fair in NYC was “the most clean fun I’ve ever had.” There were excursions to farms, drilling oil rigs, Houston Fat Stock Show, cattle sales, Polar Wave Ice Skating Rink, musicals at the Music Hall and tracking KILT’s zany scavenger hunts. Buzz was always ready for an adventure with his family and their friends.

Buzz was a 5th generation Texan and a 3rd generation Houstonian, enjoying memberships in the Sons of the American Revolution and especially the camaraderie of the San Jacinto Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Very interested in his genealogy, he was proud of both his 3rd great-grandfathers Robert Lusk and Edward Lacey who fought in the American Revolution in South Carolina, his 2nd great-grandfather George Vance Lusk who fought in the War of 1812 and later became the first Chief Justice of Shelby County, Texas in 1836 and of his great-grandfather Robert Orville Lusk who fought in the Texas Revolution in 1835-36. The latter two Lusk families arrived in San Augustine, Texas in 1833. After the Texas Revolution, some Lusks settled in Houston in 1837 while other Lusks and Laceys settled in Buffalo, Leon County, Texas operating a cotton plantation and a sawmill. Buzz’s grandfather, Charles Miles Lusk, moved to Houston in 1884 and operated the Turf Exchange Saloon & Restaurant at 418-420 Main St. at Prairie, a place for the local gentry to use telegraph to bet on horse races across the country. Also of English heritage and a touch of French, Buzz was most proud of his Lusk Scots-Irish ancestry. With translucent jade-green eyes, wit and a charming personality, Buzz talked his way out of many a jam.

Special thanks are given to dedicated executive-assistants Lynette Martin and Catherine Relfe and the caregivers at The Hampton on Post Oak Blvd. Buzz remained close to cousins Carla Cartwright Salazar and the late Betty Cartwright Reiter. Cursed with a tendency to hoard, he left a menagerie of dogs, cats, roosters, hens, plants, trees and untold number of useless objects.

Buzz was pre-deceased by son Patrick J. Lusk. Buzz is survived by his wife, Ursula Guseman Lusk; three daughters, Michaelene “Miki” Norton (Ralph Norton, M.D.), Charlene Dwyer (William H. Dwyer III), Annette Segura (the late Fernando Segura); two sons, Charles M. Lusk III (Kathleen), and James E. Lusk, M.D. (Catherine), the latter of Shreveport; Nine grandchildren survive him: Michael L. Norton of Austin, William H. “Whitt” Dwyer IV, Alexander G. Dwyer (Elizabeth), Emily Dwyer of NYC, Andrew C. Lusk (Caroline Kerr), Lauren L.Willis (Robert C. Willis, Jr.) of NYC. Bryan E. Lusk, M.D. (Stephanie Wu), Stephanie Frances Lusk and Jeffrey D. Lusk, M.D. (Lauren Austin Lusk, M. D.) all live in Shreveport. Great-grandsons are Wyatt Lusk of Shreveport and Alexander G. Dwyer, Jr. Unless otherwise noted, descendants reside in Houston.

Visitation will be on Friday, May 30, 2014, 6-8 pm with the rosary at 8 pm at Bradshaw-Carter Home, 1734 W. Alabama St. in Houston. The funeral mass will be offered at 9 am, Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 3617 Milam St. in Houston. Fr. Juan Torres, O.P. Parochial Vicar is to serve as celebrant. The Rite of Committal will follow to Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. At 12 noon, a reception will follow at The Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas at Louisiana.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions, that would have been appreciated by Buzz, may be directed to Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Dr., Houston, TX, 77024; Boys & Girls Country, 18806 Roberts Rd., Hockley, TX, 77447; Discovery Green Foundation, 1500 McKinney, Houston, TX, 77010; or to Memorial Hermann Hospice, 920 Frostwood Dr., Suite 7-400, Houston, TX, 77024.

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GUEST BOOK

To Ursula & Children, I am sorry for the loss of a husband and father. May you all rely heavily on God for strength during this time. And find comfort in knowing that God will soon do away with death, pain and mourning forever. (Revelation 21:3-4)

Lorri Mason, Spring, Tx

My condolences to the family during this difficult time. I am truly sorry for your loss. Please find comfort and hope in God's promise found at Revelation 21:3,4.

R gray, Glen Burnie, Md


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