RUDYARD - Buster Ness, 76, of Rudyard died Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. today at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rudyard. Burial with military rites will follow at the Rudyard Cemetery.
Buster was born Ferris Hartford Ness on July 17, 1929, at the family farm to Swan and Anna (Wiik) Ness. He grew up in Rudyard and received his education there, graduating from Rudyard High School in 1947. In the few years that followed, he worked with his family in the construction business at Pasco, Wash.
During the Korean conflict, Buster enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1950-53. He spent most of his enlistment time as a paratrooper with Company H of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment. He had attained the rank of sergeant at the time of his honorable discharge.
Buster returned to Spokane, Wash., where he managed a service station for a while, then began working as a millwright at the Hanford Nuclear Sites near Pasco. In the late 1950s Buster and a Rudyard friend, Robert Rigg, purchased and operated a bowling alley at Airway Heights near Spokane. In the early 1960s, following the death of his older brother, Bob, Buster returned to Rudyard to work as a spray pilot and help with the family farm. In 1964 he started Ag Air, Inc., a successful aerial crop-spraying business which he owned and operated throughout the rest of his life. In addition, Buster was a partner in Ag Distributors, a business specializing in chemical and fertilizer sales.
On March 25, 1965 Buster married Grace I. Richie in Las Vegas, Nev. They made their home at Rudyard during their 41 years together.
Buster developed diabetes and subsequent renal problems, which required dialysis. He felt very fortunate to receive a kidney transplant in 2000. His health stabilized for a while, then declined about six months ago.
Buster loved airplanes and was a licensed pilot for more than 50 years. He was a past president and board member of the Montana Aerial Applicators Association, a member of the National Aerial Applicators, and a member of the Havre Elks. In 1991, he became a founding member of the Association of Montana Aerial Applicators. Buster loved to attend the annual air-races in Reno, Nev., and one of his favorite magazines was Trade-A-Plane. In his quiet hours at home, he enjoyed watching airplane shows and the history channel on television. His hobbies were his farm and his work.
Buster was a very practical, unassuming man with a good sense of humor. When conversing with family and friends, he always interjected many original quips and quotes, which his family affectionately referred to as “Buster-isms.”
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Robert “Bob” Ness and Arnold “Arnie” Ness.
Survivors include his wife, Grace Ness of Rudyard; his daughter Karen Kelly (John “Bobo”) of Anaconda and Amy Carver (and fianc, Frank Foster); son, Dana Ness (Courtney) of Rudyard; five grandchildren; sister, Grace Ness of Seattle; sister-in-law, Joanne Ness of Pasco; dog, Buddy; and several nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.