Suggest Edits
 Jack Norbourne Bussell

Photo added by Bill Bussell

Jack Norbourne Bussell

  • Birth 17 Oct 1921 Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
  • Death 7 Feb 2013 Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
  • Burial Greenwood, Johnson County, Indiana, USA
  • Plot GGarden of Apostles 73C sp 4
  • Memorial ID 104922735

Jack Norbourne Bussell, 91, of Indianapolis, passed away Thursday, February 7, 2013. He was born October 17, 1921, in Indianapolis, to the late William L. & Nellie G. Bussell.

Jack was known by many names. Father, husband, grandpa, "G", statistician, trumpeter, organist and Scout leader. The Boy Scout troop of his youth left him with a life-long admiration of the Scouting program. Later, he was a Troop Leader, and also headed a unique Explorer Scout program known as Air Explorer Squadron 96. The Air Explorers wore a blue uniform, and found themselves flying in everything from a flying boxcar C-119 to small single-engine aircraft.

Jack learned to drive at the early age of 14 because his uncle insisted he get behind wheel of his 1932 Packard. Uncle Sherm told him to drive it from Brown County back to Indianapolis. His parents and aunt, also in the car, were terrified when he drove around corners on two-wheels as he became accustomed to the vehicle This large luxury automobile, with huge round headlights, was unique in the depression era with glass flower vases. Jack described it as having a floor-mounted 5-speed transmission.

Jack had many musical talents, and began piano lessons as a child. He began playing a Reed organ in Sunday School at the former Troub Memorial Presbyterian Church. His uncle provided a trumpet, and Jack played in the Southport High School Band. Jack also played in the Scottish Rite Orchestra and Murat Band. He sometimes played a long Herald Trumpet on the stage of the Scottish Rite. He enjoyed organ music, and was as early organist at Southport Masonic Lodge. Late in life, he continued playing the organ for Prospect Masonic Lodge.

Jack enjoyed photography. He had a photographic darkroom in his teens. Later, he owned a press camera and an Argus C3. Many Kodachrome slides exist from Jack's handy work. He also owned Nikon film and digital cameras in later years.

He learned self-reliance during the depression years by working with his family to grow large gardens, and raise chickens. He recalled the steam threshing machines in the neighborhood during harvest time. He and friends found enough steam pressure remaining to "toot" the whistles on occasion in the late evening.

Jack had wanted to be a Navy Radio Operator. He was knowledgeable of Morse Code, and had built a short-wave radio receiver on a cigar-box chassis while in High School. The Navy rejected him for service because of his requirement for eye-glasses to correct near sighted vision. However, the US Army drafted him for WWII service. Near the end of his WWII service, he joined a US Army Band. He was stationed first in New Caledonia in an ordnance company, and later was in Cebu City, Philippines.

He married wife Helen in 1948 after they both finished WWII Service. Helen was in the US Navy, and they used their GI BIlls to finance college course work.

Early employment involved building and troubleshooting vacuum tube juke box amplifiers at the former Packard Manufacturing plant in Indianapolis. Jack was also part-owner of an appliance and radio repair shop.

A large tent, and later a trailer, provided many family camping vacations from Cape Hatteras to the Western United States. Jack was active in many organizations including the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC). He taught classes in Statistical Quality Control for ASQC members, and at Allison Gas Turbine where he was employed for 38 years. He wrote computer programs that were used on main-frame computers from punch cards.

He developed quality control programs to measure turbine-blade tip-and-tilt of Allison T56 gas turbine engines that power the 4-engine Hercules C-130 aircraft. He had the first "personal computer" at Allison the size of an office desk before the IBM PC revolution began.

Jack enjoyed life with his family and grandchildren. He had an upbeat attitude for life, but faced health adversity in later times. He tried his best to work through the challenges. He had been a member of Southport Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Indianapolis.

Jack is survived by his sons.

His final resting place is at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.

Family Members


  • Maintained by: Bill Bussell
  • Originally Created by: Debbie (Spray) Burton
  • Added: 10 Feb 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 104922735
  • Bill Bussell
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jack Norbourne Bussell (17 Oct 1921–7 Feb 2013), Find A Grave Memorial no. 104922735, citing Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, Greenwood, Johnson County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Bill Bussell (contributor 47587779) .