Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eulogy – April 2005

Eulogy at Eileen Busby's memorial service, held at the Point Loma Community Church. Singing "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound of Music, one of Mother's favorite movies, was Shelli Frances:

Solomon once wrote, "There is nothing better than, that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion."

Mother found her portions and rejoiced in her works. We were all so proud of her.

As children, she taught us to love the written word. She was especially fond of novels. Our hallway shelves were full of them, sandwiched between her own childhood editions of Aesop’s Fables, A Child’s Garden of Verses and Little Women.

As much as she loved reading and writing, she loved gardening more. When we were young, she grew vegetables. Later, she switched to flowers. In every garden she tended, she always included rose bushes. And bricks, including 6,000 she laid around our swimming pool in La Mesa. Her patio at her current house is an extension of her home, an outdoor room. The last weekend she spent in her home was two weeks ago. She looked out on her patio from her family room at her blossoming flowers and said, “I love my garden.” It brought her a sense of joy and peace.

She also loved to entertain. She would have enjoyed being here today with all of you.

She didn’t like talking about her illness. She valiantly, bravely and quietly pushed through it and lived two years longer than expected. Two years ago, she said she had too much to do and wasn’t ready to go. Sickness wasn’t who she was and she didn’t like dwelling on it. She taught her last antiques collecting class at Grossmont College last July. And she was looking forward to giving a workshop on April 30 in San Francisco at the 2005 Chintz Convention. Until three weeks ago, she was still using her treadmill and doing exercises, trying to get stronger. Up until her last three nights, she still asked that her Estee Lauder anti-wrinkle cream be put under her eyes. She was hopeful and did it her way.

We’ve received wonderful e-mails and cards from around the world from so many of her friends and family. Here is a sampling:

From her cousin Herbert Holbeck: “We enjoyed our visits with her over the years. She was always so upbeat despite any difficulties, and she had the same honest directness as her mother.”

From a friend: “She was elegant and a lady.”

From a chintz collector: “I have one of her books. She was a respected and valued person in the chintz collecting community.”

From her friend and former neighbor Jo Cryder, who invited her to join her lunch group: “I'm heartbroken that Eileen has left us. She was such a glorious person. We had such good times going to lunch and getting together with friends at the First Friday Lunch Bunch. She was so full of life when I left her last September.

“She worked such miracles with the house that was such a mess when she bought it. It's amazing how she turned the yard into a blooming garden. She just didn't let anything stop her once she decided to do something, whether it was remodeling a house, creating a garden, writing a book, teaching a class, or entertaining a houseful of family or friends. I was so proud to be included in her circle of friends. Eileen spoke often to me about you all and she was so proud of you. I felt I knew you even before I met you. It's hard to accept that such a wonderful woman is gone, and I miss her terribly even from way across the country. I'm grieving with you.”

From Shirley and Klaus Mendenhall, who visited her three days before she passed and who had just lost their father and father-in-law: “Your mother was truly the kindest, sweetest lady. I cherish the sympathy card she managed to send. The first thing she said to me on Sunday was how sorry she was about Daddy. It was just so typically her selfless attitude. We’re honored to have known her.”

And from Chip Mosher, a friend of mine who met her at a holiday gathering in Las Vegas: “One of the highlights of my rather quiet life was meeting your mother at the Thanksgiving soiree two years ago. The strength, integrity, wit and intelligence to her personality are etched indelibly in my mind. I truly hope when my time comes that she is one of the persons hanging around, waiting for and helping me to ‘cross over.’ That'd be a gas.”
--Cathy Scott

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy days

By Cathy Scott

Eileen and Jim "Scotty" Scott, circa 1940. She was 18 and he was 29 when they married, after knowing each other just three months. They had five children in 7-1/2 years.

She was a housewife, nursery and Sunday school teacher, restaurant hostess, school administrative assistant, university graduate at age 62, college instructor, world traveler, freelance travel writer while based in Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, England, author of collectors books, antiques dealer and member of Mensa. He was a one-room schoolhouse teacher, a milkman for Golden Arrow Dairy, a pioneer in racquetball and gold, silver and bronze winner at Senior Olympics, an insurance salesman who received sales awards, and a real estate broker who penned his autobiography at age 85.

They divorced after 26 years of marriage. Eileen died at age 82; he died at 90. Even though our father had remarried Helen Scott, for more than 34 years, and our mother was married to Richard Busby, for more than 32 years, two weeks before she passed away and four years after our Father's death, we learned that Mother carried in her wallet a photo of her and our dad taken on one of their few vacations together, in Jamaica in the late 1950s. When our Father passed away, our Mother said, "I've had a loss too."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Eileen Rose Busby
writer, world traveler and antiques expert

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons

April 9, 2005

Eileen Rose Busby had always wanted to be a published writer, and for years she would come up with jokes and stories she'd send to Reader's Digest, only to be rejected time and again. However, once her five children were grown, her writing career took off. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from New York University at the age of 62, and wrote several books on the topic she became an expert on: antiques. "She really had two lives," said her son J. Michael Scott.

Mrs. Busby spent her 60s and 70s traveling around Europe and writing from a home in England. Her latest book, "Royal Winton Chintz and Pastel Ware," is scheduled for release this fall.

On April 6, Mrs. Busby died at the Point Loma home of her daughter, Cordelia Mendoza. She was 82. Until last month, Mrs. Busby had been living independently in the San Carlos fixer-upper she bought four years ago and restored herself.

Mrs. Busby wrote books about Royal Winton Porcelain, Cottage Ware, chintz china, and even one on typing.

She was a member of the San Diego chapter of Mensa and the San Diego Press Club, and was featured last year in the newsletter of the Antiques Road Show. Mrs. Busby was scheduled to speak later this month at a San Francisco convention on chintz china, one of her areas of expertise.

Mrs. Busby was born on Aug. 15, 1922, in Two Harbors, Minn., a town on Lake Superior, northeast of Duluth. While she was still a baby, the family moved to San Diego, where Mrs. Busby's parents owned and operated the Karamel-Korn Shop downtown. Upon graduating from San Diego High School in 1939 at the age of 16, Mrs. Busby attended Woodbury Business College in Los Angeles, where she lived with an aunt. When she was 18, Mrs. Busby met James Scott on a blind date. Three months later, they married. The couple had five children, including identical twins.

The family home in La Mesa was a busy one, and with the swimming pool in the back, it was a popular hangout for the children's friends. "We were Grand Central Station," her son said. "It was just sort of an open house for all our friends."

While her children were growing up, Mrs. Busby held jobs as a waitress at the Bali Hai; a secretary for San Diego schools and as a typing teacher. She tried to pass on her work habits and resourcefulness to her children. "If we wanted something new to wear, we had to make it," Mendoza said.

Mrs. Busby was always writing. She submitted jokes and stories to Reader's Digest, but was never published. She kept a folder full of her rejection letters, but wasn't discouraged. After all, she said, "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz had been turned down 300 times before he succeeded. Mrs. Busby took classes at local colleges whenever she could, including court reporting and Braille. "Something would catch her fancy and she would learn how to do it," said daughter Cathy Scott.

Mrs. Busby and James Scott divorced after 26 years of marriage. A few years later, a friend took her to a singles mixer, where Richard Busby asked her to dance. They were married in 1970, the same year that Mrs. Busby earned her associate's degree from Grossmont College. About 15 years later, she earned her bachelor's degree from New York University. "It was a very big deal to her that she got her degree," Cathy Scott said. "Education was so important to her and it wasn't offered to her by her parents."

In the mid-1970s, the Busbys sold their Mount Helix home and everything in it and moved to Suffolk, England. They settled into a thatched-roof cottage built in 1545 that was filled with antiques. The couple used the house as a home base and traveled around Great Britain and Europe, researching and photographing articles that would be printed in publications such as International Yachtsman and Sea.

The Busbys lived in England for about 10 years, returned to San Diego for a year, and then spent another year in England. When they returned to San Diego for good in 1990, they led antiques tours to England. Mrs. Busby wrote articles for The Collector, Antiques and Collectibles and West Coast Peddler.

Mrs. Busby is survived by her sons, J. Michael Scott of Moscow, Idaho; and Jon Scott of Niangua, Mo.; daughters, Cathy Scott of Las Vegas, Cordelia Mendoza of Point Loma, and Sally Scott of La Mesa; brother, Frank Rose of Sherman Oaks; stepchildren, Nancy Whitlock of Simi Valley and Chuck Busby of Ferndale, Wash.; nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Friday at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church. Donations may be made to San Diego Hospice in her name.

Eileen, The Author

It is with great sadness that we report author Eileen Rose Busby, my mother, passed away on April 6, 2005. She was passionate about the subject of her books, English china and particularly, Royal Winton. Oh,the trips we made to England hunting for English China! We are very proud to offer her books on our Cottage Antiques Web site and also this blog. Items featured in her books are offered for sale in our store and on our site.
Read the obituary
About the Author, Eileen Rose Busby
Eileen Rose Busby, a writer and antiques dealer who taught an antiques and collectibles course at a San Diego, California community college, fell in love with Chintz while living in Suffolk, England. She and her husband Richard had purchased a 16th-century thatched roof cottage on the English countryside that was furnished, including with some pieces of Chintz.
While living there for a decade, they attended English antiques shows and frequented flea markets, searching for more pieces. During her travels, she has done extensive research on English pottery, ceramics, chintz and RoyalWinton. She also has attended chintz shows all over the United States. After they returned to the states, Busby and her late husband led antiques tours to England until 2000 -- to the Newark Antiques Faire, Ardingly, Shepton-Mallet Internat'l Antiques Faire and others -- in search of Chintz and Cottage Ware. A bonus to "Royal Winton Chintz and Pastel Ware" is that Busby, a recognized historian when it comes to Royal Winton, includes interviews with people who once lived in the potteries and whose parents helped design and name early patterns. Busby has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles on the subject. Also, she has been featured in the Antiques Roadshow Insider. "Royal Winton Chintz and Pastel Ware" covers Grimwade/Royal Winton patterns and pieces starting from the 19th Century to today. More than 300 color photos are pictured along with descriptions, shapes and today's updated prices. Busby has created a classic work -- the most comprehensive on Royal Winton -- that includes rare and hard-to-find patterns and pieces. Other books by Busby include the top-selling "Royal Winton Porcelain: Ceramics Fit For A King" and the critically acclaimed "Cottage Ware: Ceramic Tableware Shaped as Buildings 1920s-1990s." Also, she and her daughter Cordelia Mendoza, who owns an antique store, are co-authoring "Decorating With Chintz."
-Cordelia Mendoza