In Memory of




Obituary for Erika K. Busch

Erika K. (Kuespert) Busch, age 83 of Shawano, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at ThedaCare Medical Center- Appleton, joining her loving husband, Bill, and son, Thomas, in heaven.

Erika was born in the county of Alkinsberg, department of Eger, Czechoslovakia on January 12, 1940, a daughter of the late Rudolph and Anna (Garban) Kuespert, the second of five children. When Erika was five years old her mother, Anna, passed away. Erika’s grandmother, Rosa Garban smuggled Erika and her two sisters across the border into Germany before the borders were closed by the Soviet Union in 1945. Her grandmother raised the three girls, and her own daughter who was living at home. Following school, Erika earned her pharmacy assistant degree from the University of Nürnberg. She worked in pharmacies for ten years until meeting her future husband, William A. Busch, in 1966.

When Bill’s duty as a soldier ended in January of 1967, he returned to the U.S. Five weeks later, he returned to Germany and married Erika on March 2, 1967, in Bamberg, Germany. Three days later the couple arrived in the U.S. and settled on Bill’s family farm in Pulcifer. Erika worked at a sewing factory until the couple moved into an apartment Shawano. In 1969, she went to work as a nurse’s aide at the Shawano Hospital for nine years. In 1972 the couple bought their forever home in Shawano. Erika worked as a bartender for Verna Bunkelman at The Bank for sixteen years. When the bar was sold, she stayed on for another three years. In 1996, Erika went to work at the Menominee Casino in Keshena where she worked for almost eighteen years. In her younger years, Erika traveled to Germany and several other countries many times. She enjoyed caring for others, helping with hot lunch at St. James Lutheran School, caring for disabled people by taking them food, assisting them with showers, shopping, and doctor appointments.

Survivors include her three children, Curtis (fiancé Kara Jameson) Busch of Shawano, Brigitte (Gary) Busch of Mosinee, and William (Tricia) Busch, Jr. of Shawano; five grandchildren, Scott, Cody, Allison, McKenna, and Lulu; her brother, John (Bonnie) Wienke; two brothers-in-law, Gary (Judy) Busch and Vernon (Judy) Busch; one sister-in-law, Yvonne Polzin; her cousin, Horst Gesell of Neualbrenreuth, Germany, and his five children; her niece, Savine Lühs of Schöfffengrund, Germany, and her two children; special friends, Carol Ott Schatzer, Myrtle Kitson, and Judy Oleck; and several other relatives and friends. Erika was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, William; her son, Thomas Busch; and her siblings, Gertrude, Hermine, Waltraud, and Rudolph; and her adopted dad, Earl Wienke.

A funeral service for Erika will be held at 12:00 pm on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Mickelson Funeral Service of Shawano. Pastor Moira Finley will officiate. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery. The first visitation will take place on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Mickelson Funeral Service. The second visitation will take place on Friday, March 17, 2023, beginning at 10:00 am and continuing until the service at 12:00 pm.