A Final Goodbye to Speaker Busch Begins Monday

A welcoming ceremony, open to the public, will be held under the dome, in which the House mace will be placed in front of House Speaker Michael E. Busch's casket, signaling that the House of Delegates is in session. The front entrance of the State House facing the Annapolis harbor opens onto the rotunda of the State House. Maryland State Archives photo

Lines of lawmakers will form in front of the State House on Monday afternoon, as lawmakers prepare to say goodbye to one of their own.

House Speaker Michael Erin Busch (D-Anne Arundel) died April 7, hours before the end of the 2019 legislative session.

Busch’s body will return to the State House on Monday, where he will lie in state under the capital’s dome until Tuesday morning services.

At noon Monday, a Maryland State Police honor guard will drape Busch’s casket with the Maryland flag that flew over the State House on the day of his death. The honor guard will escort the casket, along with Busch’s family, to the historic entrance of the State House, which faces the waterfront.

A welcoming ceremony, open to the public, will be held under the dome, in which the House mace will be placed in front of Busch, signaling that the House of Delegates is in session.

Dignitaries including Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) will offer brief remarks before a public visitation from 1 to 7 p.m.

A second public visitation is scheduled for Tuesday from 8 to 10 a.m. at the State House.

Around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, a Maryland State Police procession will carry Busch’s casket around State Circle and to St. John Neumann Church at 620 Bestgate Road in Annapolis, where the funeral will be held. Deacon Leroy Moore will officiate.

Following the service, Hogan will present Busch’s family with the Maryland flag from the speaker’s casket.

A reception honoring the speaker will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Atkinson Tower at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 550 Taylor Ave. in Annapolis.

After the service, the Maryland State Police motorcade will escort Busch’s casket toward the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium before continuing to McKendree Avenue, where the procession will pause in front of Busch’s longtime home. The motorcade will then continue to Navy-Marine Corps Stadium and finally to Taylor Funeral Home. Interment services will be private.

Busch, 72, was first elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1987. He became speaker in 2003 and maintained the position ever since, becoming the longest-serving House speaker in Maryland history.

Colleagues have remembered Busch as a “coach” who mentored lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and for his advocacy on behalf of school children and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to Annapolis High School, St. Mary’s High School or The Michael E. Busch Memorial Fund at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

A shuttle will operate between the gold parking lot at the stadium and the church.

Condolences can be sent at www.johnmtaylorfuneralhome.com.

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