Paul P. Busek
Our Post's namesake, Paul Parker Busek was born on Veteran's Day, November 11, 1905. The youngest of three sons of immigrant parents, he was born in Austria but moved to Everett, Washington in 1907. Interestingly, while at that time Everett was but a small fishing village on the Puget Sound populated mostly by Central European and Scandinavian immigrants, it now is the U.S. Navy's newest and most modern port facility and homeport to many of the Northwest's active fleet. Paul first joined the navy in 1922 and served on many ships throughout the Pacific as a cook until getting out in 1936. His first port visit to the Philippines was in 1923.
After several years bouncing around as a lumberman and a merchant seaman, with WW II looming, he rejoined the navy in 1939. Most of his time was spent in the South Pacific during the war. In 1946 he retired again as a Chief Commissaryman, but by this time the tropics were indelibly in his blood and he was destined to return. He again joined the merchant marine, until in 1949 he tried once more to join the navy for the Korean Conflict. Now 44 years old, he was turned down.
He had been previously married to an American woman and had a son Donald, but he returned to the Philippines in 1951 and married a second time to a Filipina. He took Catherine to the U.S., and they had a daughter. Catherine died in the early 80's. Paul again returned to the Philippines and remarried. His final marriage was to Elsa Escarsa Busek in December 1987. She survives him and is still warmly embraced by the American community in the area.
Paul was a very active person even up into his late seventies. He was a prodigious reader and an avid amateur geologist. He roamed the hills around Subic Bay, finding jade, quartz and other stones. He also was a talented lapidist who finished his stones into artwork, which he gave away to his friends. His creations were not merely baubles, but objects treasured for their beauty.
A legendary figure among the Navy people who came to Subic Bay, Paul was revered for his community involvement by Filipinos as well as Americans. He was a member of the CPO Association, American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), and was founder and president of the Olongapo City Chapter of the Retired Uniform Military Personnel Association (RUMPA). In the early 80's, he was recognized by then Philippine President Marcos with an "Honorary Citizenship" for his work for, and love of, the Philippines.
Paul died at the age of 84 on October 20, 1990 at the VA Hospital in Manila and is interred at Clark Cemetery in Angeles City. Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paul P. Busek Post #11447, Subic Bay, Philippines, is named in his honor, and his name is immortalized.
Footnote: This biographical sketch has been compiled mostly through interviews with his widow and old friends. Very few documents exist to verify accounts. If there are any errors of omission or fact, they are unintentional. Any additional information is invited for subsequent inclusion or corrections.