James Jay VanBuskirk, 82, of Spencer, passed away at 8:00 AM on Sunday, December 20, 2020 at the Owen Valley Health Campus. He was born in Gosport, Indiana on November 25, 1938, to Jewel J. and Helen (Williams) VanBuskirk.
Jim, Jimmy, and Big Jim as he was known by his family and friends, was a graduate of Gosport High School where he met his wife Anna Deloris Hall. They graduated and were married in 1957. Jim received his Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University in 1966 and his Masters in Education from Indiana University in 1972. He began his teaching career at Spencer High School in 1967 and transitioned to Owen Valley High School where he retired in 1998. During his tenure he taught in the Business Department; covering typing, accounting, general business and was the Athletic Department Business Manager. He loved that he was there long enough to have three generations of students from many of the families.
While at ISU, he developed his passion for golf and started very successful golf programs at Spencer/Owen Valley High Schools. While his teams had success (283-32 over 15 years) he enjoyed the impact he could make on the lives of young adults through sports. In addition to golf, he started summer youth programs in Gosport, helping with Little League baseball and basketball programs and of course you would always find him keeping the office scorebook for high school basketball and football games. In addition, he kept up with the IU, Colts, and Pacer games and also enjoyed a little poker on the side.
Some of his community involvement was serving as a Director on the Board of Owen County State Bank for 8 years and the Gosport Lions Club for over 40 years (secretary-treasurer for 11 years). He was also an investor in the Patriot Inn.
James is survived by his wife, Anna VanBuskirk; son, James Allen VanBuskirk and wife Carol; and two grandchildren, Sarah and Alex VanBuskirk.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Sheila Sue Burton and Louise E. Crum, and one son Jeffrey Jay VanBuskirk.
Due to his love of Owen County, arrangements will be kept private to protect us all from one another during this sad time of Covid. A public memorial service will be planned for the summer of 2021.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be given to the Owen County Community Foundation at www.owencountycf.org or (812)829-1725.
Arrangements have been entrusted to West & Parrish & Pedigo Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be shared with the VanBuskirk family at www.westparrishpedigo.com