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James Phillips “Phil” Busenbark 1932 - 2021
James Phillips “Phil” Busenbark

LARNED — James Phillips “Phil” Busenbark, 89, passed away Nov. 26, 2021 at Diversicare of Larned. 

Phil was born on Jan. 11, 1932 in Larned, the son of James Walton and Maude Ester Phillips Busenbark. 

He was a lifetime area resident, a teacher, psychologist, coach, and sports enthusiast. Phil retired as a Psychologist at the Iroquois Center for Human Development in Greensburg, Kan. at the age of 86. 

On June 6, 1954 he married Meribeth Mae Turner in Belpre, Kan. She survives. Other survivors include daughter Janet (Andrew) James, Raymore, Mo.; son Eric (Jennifer) Busenbark, Lenexa, Kan.; three grandsons, Phillip Dale James, Kansas City, Mo., Elijah Turner James, Raymore, Mo., and Eric Brandon Busenbark, Kansas City, Mo.; two great-granddaughters, Emma James and Bentlee James. Phil was preceded in death by his parents; a son, James Phillips “Little Phil” Busenbark II; and a great-grandson, Riddick Issac Turner James.

Family, church, and sports were Phil’s passions. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Rozel, Kan., served as the Rotary Club President in Larned, and was on the school board and church board in Larned and Rozel. Phil participated in various sports as he grew up, and was a college letterman on the track team at Fort Hays. He taught and coached high school basketball at Collier, Kan. and Rozel High Schools and coached the Larned Cobras girls’ fast pitch softball team. Phil refereed high school basketball games for years, and attended the National Junior College Basketball Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. for more than 30 years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and Phil and Meribeth were regulars on the golf course at the Larned Country Club for many years. They were dedicated travelers, and enjoyed many ocean cruises with friends and trips to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Branson, Mo. with family. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday Dec. 4, 2021 at Beckwith Mortuary, Larned, with Charles “Buddy” and Judi Tabler presiding. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, with family present from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the mortuary. Inurnment will be in the Belpre Cemetery, Belpre, Kan. Memorials may be given to the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Foundation, Fresenis Kidney Care or the American Heart Association in care of Beckwith Mortuary, Box 477, Larned, KS 67550. Condolences may be left at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Beckwith Mortuary 

Box 477 

Larned, KS 67550

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 1, 2021