July ended with a dark veil spread across the PR industry. One of the field’s top executives, founder of one of the first million dollar public relations agencies in Houston, Alvin R. Busse, Al for his close friends, passed away on July 26th.
His true story is indeed impressive: a graduate of the Indiana State University who servedn in the US Army in Korea and Japan, his proficient career in public relations lasted for no less than 52 years. He shortly followed his wife, Barbara, who passed away earlier this year, after a beautiful marriage of 36 years
“His professional career was just incredible,” said Jane Powell who worked for Busse in the 1980s and remained friends until his death. “I was really fortunate to be able to work for him and learn so much from such a talent in the industry.”
“He was upbeat, always in a good mood,” Powell said. “He never seemed to have bad moods. He was always a lot of fun.”
A key member of the community he lived in, Mr. Busse, 82, was a frequent author of letters to the editors of the Houston Post and Chronicle. Other than his passion for public relations and writing, he also enjoyed vintage wine and traveling, making most of his trips together with his wife. Busse also served on several boards, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Ballet Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis to name a few. A deacon at his church, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, his efforts were one of the main reasons the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival was brought to Houston.
An inspiring leader to those working for him, Busse is known to have enforced a funny, yet effective policy for his employees – whenever they were late for work, he deducted a nicked from their earnings. The money thus collected would later fund parties or office fellowships. He was also a published author, his memoirs, An ordinary man. An extraordinary life, being publishes in 2002.
Our condolences go to his relatives, his stepdaughter and his stepson.