A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

The Joshua Busch Memorial Fund

Donations to the Joshua Busch Memorial Fund will be used for research, education, and treatment directed toward prevention of untimely death among college students.

Joshua Spencer Busch was born in Chicago, IL, on Dec. 18, 1989, and died suddenly and unexpectedly on August 23, 2011, in Decatur, Georgia, just before starting his senior year in the BBA Program at Goizueta Business School at Emory University; he would have been eligible to sit for the CPA exam upon graduation.

Josh is survived by his mother, Judith Ann Skerchock, father, Daniel Avery Busch, sister, Rebecca Anna Busch, three grandparents, Rose Busch, Peter Skerchock and Ann Skerchock, half-sister Jennifer Busch and her daughter Leila Soza-Busch, uncles Gerald and Fredric Busch, aunt Laura Smolkin, and eight first cousins.

Josh’s raw intelligence and gift for strategy were first displayed in early chess triumphs. Having already won two trophies at state championships, at the age of seven Josh defeated his reigning family chess champion uncle three games in a row. But chess did not satisfy Josh’s desire to play on a team. Once he began to play ice hockey, chess was a thing of the past.

The first string varsity goalie as a freshman, Josh attended Loyola Academy for three years. He then went East to pursue his dream of playing Juniors ice hockey, and he graduated from Westborough (Massachusetts) High School. Moving across the country before his senior year to play hockey was typical of Josh: he was not afraid to take risks.

To Josh, taking the net meant mobilizing the mental toughness to focus on the puck and the skaters, anticipate outcomes, and shake off adversity. There were so many memorable moments: winning the goalie skills competition in AAA Nationals in Rochester, NY; playing against his team’s arch high school rival before packed stands while the New Trier supporters chanted curses at him.

His wide-ranging interests included entrepreneurial activities, bicycle riding and repair, lacrosse, photography, electronic music, automobiles, and keeping track of the financial markets and the latest developments in computers and cellular phones.

Josh served as lead photographer for Emory Party Pictures. But his real love was photographing dogs, an area of unusual talent. Josh also worked part-time selling and repairing bicycles. He enjoyed the challenge of quickly capturing the trust of a skeptical customer. But even more, he enjoyed repairing and assembling bicycles, especially well-made ones. He loved well-made vehicles: at 9 years old, he suggested we substitute a Porsche fund for his college fund.

In the month prior to his death, Josh attended his aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary in New York, visited his grandparents in New Jersey, attended a week-long seminar in corporate valuation, played ice hockey in a Chicago men’s league, and attended music festivals in Michigan and Chicago; he had grown to love electronic music. Evenings he could be found hanging out with friends on the patio by the fire pit.

He was liked and loved. The Director of the BBA Program at Emory said, “I was extremely impressed by the diversity of his interests and his propensity to pursue goals that stretched his capacity.” A college friend said, “Josh was a fun, entertaining, and smart boy, and also a good friend. He was truly inspirational, and I learned a lot from him over the past two years,” and another said, “He was really willing to go out of his way to help people whether they were friends already, whether it was a brother in AKPsi (an honor business fraternity) or whether it was a complete stranger.”

The former AKPsi president said, “He transcended the typical Emory student’s perfectionism by engaging with the world as his own person. I was always amazed by his ability to stay cool in tough situations. Most of all, Josh always had the exact right words to put a smile on your face. His sense of humor and outlook on life made you feel calm just being around him. He lived his life with no regrets.”

Contributions to honor Josh’s memory can be sent to the Joshua Busch Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 560, Winnetka, IL 60093, or can be made directly through this web site using PayPal or Google Checkout.


Fund Administrators

  • Daniel A. Busch
  • Judith A. Skerchock


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:
Joshua Busch Memorial Fund
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161

Use credit card by clicking the link below:

The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer. For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.

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