Julia Mary Bussman lived as a child in west Santa Rosa during the Great Depression and returned there as an adult to teach elementary school.
Bussman, a lifelong Santa Rosan and proud alum of Santa Rosa High, died Saturday in a local skilled nursing facility. She was 92.
Family members loved to hear Bussman tell stories of growing up in Santa Rosa.
"She had the most incredible memory," said her daughter, Marcia Bussman Clayburg of Laytonville. Her mother "had appreciation for all life had to offer."
Bussman was born on West Sixth Street to Italian immigrant parents, Erminio and Nina Turcatti. From 1927 to 1934, the family lived on Wilson Street at La Rose Hotel, which her parents then managed.
Bussman graduated from Santa Rosa High in 1937 and from UC Berkeley in 1941. After college, she became a school teacher at Roseland Elementary School.
In 1946 she married Marcellus Bussman, a fellow Santa Rosa High graduate and a World War II pilot. The couple moved for a few years to bases in Georgia and South Carolina before Marcellus Bussman left the Air Force and they returned to Sonoma County.
After the birth of their two children, Bussman returned to teaching in the 1950s. She taught at Lincoln School on Davis Street, a campus she had once attended as a student. When that location closed, she went to work and later retired from the new Lincoln School campus on West Ninth Street.
She taught school for more than a quarter century.
In retirement, the Bussmans traveled to Europe and went on a number of cruises. They enjoyed taking weekly drives around the North Coast and dancing with the "Merry-Go-Rounders" dance club.
Her husband died in 1992.
Bussman was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church and a past president of the St. Rose Young Ladies Association. She was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority and the Sonoma County Retired Teachers Association.
She belonged to the Santa Rosa High School Alumni Association and regularly attended school reunions and other alumni gatherings.
In addition to her daughter, Bussman is survived by her son, John Bussman of Santa Rosa; by one grandson, two step-grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shiloh Cemetery in Windsor. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at Eggen and Lance Chapel.