Sister Emma Cecilia Busam, OSU: July 27, 1921-December 14, 2018

Sister Emma Cecilia Busam, 97, an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph, died Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at Mount Saint Joseph, in her 75th year of religious life. She was a native of Owensboro, Ky.

Sister Emma Cecilia was an accomplished teacher and artist who took great interest with her students. She later became an expert archivist, both for her community and the Diocese of Owensboro.

An educator for 38 years, she taught in Kentucky at St. Joseph School, Central City (1945-46), St. William School, Knottsville (1946-51), St. James School, Louisville (1951-56), Holy Cross School, Holy Cross (1956-58), St. Charles School, Bardwell (principal and teacher, 1958-60), Blessed Mother School (1960-61) and Sts. Joseph and Paul School (1961-66, 1970-71), Owensboro, and St. Anthony School, Axtel (principal and teacher, 1966-70).

She was an art teacher at Brescia College (1960-66, 1970-82) and Owensboro Catholic High School (1971-82), as well as at Mount Saint Joseph Academy and the adult education program of the Owensboro Public Schools (1982-83).

At Mount Saint Joseph, she was director of archives (1983-2001) and of the museum (1983-92). She served as archivist for the Diocese of Owensboro, 1991-2011, and upon her retirement, the archives were named in her honor.

Survivors include the members of her religious community; a sister, Mary Agnes Vance, of Connersville, Ind.; and nieces and nephews.

The funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Saint Joseph, where visitation begins Monday at 4 p.m., with a wake service following at 6:30 p.m.

Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, Owensboro, is handling arrangements.

Donations in memory of Sister Emma Cecilia may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, 8001 Cummings Road, Maple Mount, KY 42356.


  1. John Powers

    Early on in my education this lady touched my heart and nurtured my passion for art. I am grateful for her influence and consider her a great teacher and a grand example of one who loved her calling and am thankful for her love, care and brilliance. Sister Emma Cecilia Rest In Peace. ❤️

  2. Rose Brandenburg (Hayden)

    I was so happy to be able to reconnect with Sister Emma Cecilia in 2014 at my 50th reunion. She taught me in 6th grade at St Charles, Bardwell, Ky, 1958. She was a beautiful soul! Rest in peace dear Sister!

  3. Becky Franey

    I was one of Sr. Emma Cecilia’s students. I loved her for her love of Art. She was such a kind and gentle soul. I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of old friends and students of hers who spent time with her in her recent years. We loved her company and will certainly miss her.
    Becky Franey

  4. Elaine Williams

    Sr Emma Cecilia taught my group at Blessed Mother and we never forgot her kindness or her way of being able to teach fifty students at the same time. She was a remarkable lady and we later began taking her out to lunch with us. She will surely be missed.

  5. Stephanie Morris

    We have lost a beautiful woman in Sister Emma Cecilia’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and community.

  6. Sister Mary Serbacki, osf

    I worked with Emma Cecilia in the early days of LCWR and so appreciated her generosity, wisdom, and humor. I well remember a meeting of the exec committee held there at Mt. St. Joseph over a Derby weekend (1995?). I still regale my own community each Derby weekend with the story of how it was to celebrate with the community there!

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