Jerrell Bussey, 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, died in May

Jerrell Dean Bussey, who recently died, was very fond of Oceanside High School. In honor of his memory, the family has named the OHS Foundation as one of the places where they are encouraging people to make donations, if they wish. Jerrell was inducted into the OHS Foundation’s 2015 Hall of Fame in the Business category.

Jerrell D. Bussey–Class of 1946

For your information, a brief narrative is provided about his life below.

Jerrell Dean Bussey born in Sudan, Texas on June 7, 1928 moved to Elk City, Oklahoma as a toddler. He migrated to California in 1937, when he was nine years old, leaving the cotton fields and the Oklahoma dust bowl for the promise of a better life in California. He remained a loyal advocate of California’s weather, geography, and abundant resources throughout his life, which ended on May 28, 2017 after a long illness. He was just shy of his 89th birthday.


As the third born child in a family of eight children, he felt a strong obligation to contribute to the well-being of his family, earning money by recycling soda bottles, harvesting sand crabs to sell to fisherman, washing business windows on Hill Street (renamed Coast Highway), and selling newspapers and magazines. He continued to advance his considerable business acuity throughout his life, founding Bussey’s Automotive Service in 1946 which became an iconic landmark on Mission Avenue in Oceanside just off of Interstate 5.


He touched many lives in the community of Oceanside by providing reliable service with care and quality. He considered it his responsibility to make sure that the families of Oceanside and beyond had safe transportation. On KUDE, a local radio station, he ran a jiggle with the repeating refrain, “Bussey’s Bussey’s, Bussey’s is the place to go.” To this day Bussey’s Automotive Service, Inc. in Oceanside continues to provide excellent automotive services to the citizens of Oceanside and surrounding areas.  Based on his business accomplishments, he was inducted into the Oceanside High School Hall of Fame in 2014 and he was interviewed by KOCT for the Living Legends of Oceanside series.


OHS Senior Photo

He loved his time at Oceanside High School, serving as the Associate Student Body President and an active athlete. He played on the football team in various positions, including sometimes quarterback. He was a valuable member of the basketball team, even playing as an energetic center in one game.  He guided the baseball team as its catcher and his participation on that team was featured in the school newspaper, with a photograph and a caption which read, “catch that million dollar smile.” Indeed, warm interactions with others and an optimistic attitude were his trademarks. His contributions to Oceanside High School’s athletic teams earned him a trophy as the most valuable athlete and he received an award for providing the most service to the high school.


Immediately following his graduation in 1946, he married his high school sweet heart Shirley Chandler, who he adored throughout their more than seventy years together as a married couple and he always gave her a kiss as he walked out the door to work. Jerrell and Shirley raised three daughters, Susan Shimanoff, Lisa Phillips, and Mary Jane Gardner, and five grandchildren, Daniel Phillips, Ashley Phillips, Patrick Shimanoff, Hannah Gardner, and Emma Gardner. He is also survived by his sisters, Sara Conover and Patsy Martin, son-in-laws, Perry Shimanoff and Dan Phillips, and in-laws, Jane and Bill Whitley (one of his favorite and winning golf partners).  Pre-deceased by his parents, Thurmond and Mary Bussey, and his siblings, Cletus Anthony, Eugene Bussey, Dorothy Guevara, Jerry Bussey, and Sharon Bussey.


An avid trap and sheet shooter and a member of the Sportsman Club, Jerrell treasured his annual hunting trips to South Dakota with Shirley and their good friends David and Leonora Walker. He loved dogs and every dog loved him!  Abundant friends were cherished and Jerrell was often the life of the party. He played golf at El Camino Country Club and cards at the Elks Club with his friends on a regular basis. Country western music, homemade waffles, the funnies, and shooting or golf made Sundays memorable. He cherished picnics with his extended family, leading them in jump roping games of chase the fox and double-dutch. He taught his children and grandchildren nursery rhythms, jacks, marbles, mumbley peg, shooting hoops and targets, and the importance of self-confidence, hard work, trustworthiness, saving, and family.


Integrity, appropriate humility, quality, exploration, and service are values he embraced in his business and daily life.  He brought purpose to his life by bringing his unique contributions, offering service in many arenas, and contributing to the larger community.   He served as an active member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Sportsman Club, and the Elks Club for over 57 years, where he helped to raise substantial resources for scholarships.   He was a strong supporter of education and the youth in his community.  He supported the Oceanside High Booster Club, including contributing to new lights for the football field, and the Oceanside Boys and Girls Club.


A couple of his favorite sayings, included: “Self-reliance is necessary, but self-conceit is silly.” “I have to live with myself, and so, I want to be fit for myself to know.” “If you make a dime, save a nickel.” “Don’t take any wooden nickels” “There is plenty of honest work; there is no need to make it up.” “Have I ever steered you wrong?” Jerrell Dean Bussey lived his life admirably such that he was most “fit to know” and a model for us all.


Anyone wishing to a make donation in his memory might consider donating to one of his favorite charities: Oceanside Boys and Girls Club (401 Country Club Lane, Oceanside, CA 92054; or Oceanside High School Foundation (P O Box 58, Oceanside, CA 92049-0058; He taught many children how to ride bicycles and he loved giving bicycles to others, so another good charity could be Bikes for Kids Foundation (14555 Wildgrove Road  Poway, CA 92064;, also sponsored by the San Diego Chargers.


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