Robert Busbee

Robert Leroy "Buzz" Busbee

Oct/25/1932 - Apr/04/2024

Share Your Memory of

Obituary of Robert Leroy "Buzz" Busbee

Robert Leroy “Buzz” Busbee, 91, of Columbia, passed away on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Born in West Columbia, SC, he was the son of the late Leroy and Mamie Huggins Busbee and the husband of Vivian Smith Busbee whom he affectionately called “Buddy.” Robert was a member of West Columbia Baptist Church, where he sang in the choir. Upon graduation from Brookland-Cayce High School, he went to work in the Columbia Mill. He was drafted in the US Army in 1953 and after serving he returned to the Mill and worked until its closing in 1981. He was instrumental in the old mill eventually becoming the SC State Museum. Robert also worked as a computer programmer for the Department of Motor Vehicles and in the banking sector. He was a skilled photographer with a passion for capturing the bravery and determination of firefighters in the line of duty. For Buzz, it was more than a photo. He was meticulous in cataloging each picture in order to preserve the history of the Columbia Fire Department. This passion led him to become the official photographer for the Department in 1991, earning the title of “Photo 1”. Throughout his time with CFD, Buzz captured well over 25,000 photos of fires and his work was featured in several national magazines. He enjoyed classical music and had a wealth of knowledge of Columbia’s history. He and Vivian loved nature and visiting the Riverbanks Zoo. His life, legacy, and the impact he made on the Columbia Fire Department and the surrounding community will never be forgotten.  

In addition to his loving wife, Robert is survived by his sister, Ann B. Norris (nephew Steve and Patricia Bledsoe); his niece, Debbie Sellers; and numerous CFD brothers and sisters.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, April 12, 2024 at NewSpring Church, Columbia, 657 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210.

Sign the online register at


Celebration of Life

2:00 pm
Friday, April 12, 2024
NewSpring Church
657 Bush River Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States