This memorial website was created in loving memory of Bo. She touched so many people and will always be remembered for the love, laughter and music she brought to this world. Please feel free to leave a tribute, a story or a photo. 
Posted by Teuila N Taimikovi on August 3, 2020
I miss you dearly May you forever RIP
Posted by Tommy Thompson on August 3, 2020
The history of today's Milwaukee can't be written without including Bo Black. Her energy and passion was beyond contagious, it was that explicit challenge to anyone she came in contact with to believe in not 'better', but rather the 'best.' I know first-hand as Governor, one of the hardest things to do is to convince others to support something that hasn't been done. Bo made the dream real with Summerfest. She never rested on past success, preferring to relentlessly challenge the achievements of the past with the goal of being the world's greatest music festival. Today more than ever, we need to take Bo's relentlessness and resourcefulness to heart as together we seek to address our greater health and social challenges. God Bless Bo, her family and friends. 
Posted by Barbara Vander Leest on August 1, 2020
So many memories of Bo ! We used to play tennis in Milwaukee - that's where we met. Then there were the wonderful parties at the Whitefish Bay house. I live in Arizona now, and caught up with Bo briefly. Such a fun gal!
Posted by Vatsana Bilavarn on July 31, 2020
Bo was a Force to be reckoned with, a woman of great beauty and generosity. I have the deepest gratitude to have had the pleasure of knowing Bo these past 7 years. She was an awe inspiring lady, the magnitude of which touch many people of all ages and walks of life. My sincerest condolences to Treb, Stephanie, Kellyn, and Blake. May she be shining star above to guide you, and may she have eternal rest and peace. The Bilavarn Family, Chanpheng, Vatsana, Saychai, Sisaket, Rebecca, William, Megan, and Javier.
Posted by Jlo Teg on July 28, 2020
She is an will remain my professional hero, an icon, that I will remember giving me faith, opportunity and education on being the best at what you do. She was a true pioneer in the tourism industry, I know I lived and saw the industry she built and how she built it. It is the quiet, private meetings and guidance she truly offered and taught me to love, work hard and support the people that help you. I mentioned her often as giving me the chance to grow in this business. Will not forget her.
Posted by Beth Perlozzo on July 28, 2020
Bo Black was a beautiful Force of Nature...What a privilege to have known such a soul—and then to know her as a friend! She kept us all on our toes! So full of love and kindness and always up for fun! Time with Bo was always an adventure, and we are grateful for all the time we shared...
Even to the end, she would call and make sure we were all good. The world has lost a very special girl...We love you Bo...
Posted by Shannon Fox on July 28, 2020
It is with great sadness that I read of Bo's passing. She was truly a great lady and I smile remembering all of the fun we had at a boutique where we both worked. When business was slow or boring, Bo always found a way for us to have fun. I remember her standing in the window acting like a manniquinn getting people to come on in. We all loved her, including the customers. To her family, she adored you all, and was always talking of you.  She will be forever missed.
Posted by Sandy Oldham on July 27, 2020
So many wonderful memories of fun times with UW cheerleading, Pi Phi, and Humorology shows with Betty Jo. She brought her effervescent personality to all that she did, and made sure everyone had a memorable experience. Thanking her for being a part of my life, and I will cherish the memories. Rest in peace.
Posted by Archie Sarazin on July 27, 2020
Invisible tears in the rain
Washed to the soil
With no foil to deflect it.
Rain flushed my sadness
While coiling my pain
In my look to you
A memory of time forever

Archie Sarazin
Posted by Lisa Berman on July 27, 2020
Bo, it was my pleasure and my honor to know you. You were a woman leader when MKE had few; you blazed a trail full of stars and sunshine....and a lotta great business sense. We spent time together in various places and venues, whether walking the lakefront, at meetings or at some gala event, always gabbing. One of my favorite memories was the two of us, at the art museum's Bal du Lac, with dapper dates and dressed like movie stars, discussing how lackluster our love lives were at that time. We laughed, as we said: "I bet no one thinks that's what we're talking about." After I moved to scottsdale, we picked up the talk-y trail, though mostly on the phone. You always were loving, funny and....asking about my love life. Now you've got your angel wings, smiling that radioactive smile at all the lucky souls in heaven. Don't Rest In Peace, have a wonderful time; maybe create a celestial festival. You are missed and remembered.
Posted by Melinda Randa on July 26, 2020
To. My Pi Phi Sister a warm and loving woman
Who was always there for others!
Posted by Chris Schaefer on July 26, 2020
Dear family of Bo. My name is Chris Schaefer and was 1 of the founders of the Respite Center on the Summerfest grounds. Bo was ALWAYS so receptive of new ideas and I was always honored when she took the time to say "hello" when we crossed paths even though I knew how busy she was...I left Milw in 2001 for San Diego and attended 1 of the music festivals here. Nothing could compare with Bo's Summerfest. Triple the price and a couple bands on a blocked off street. It was the last time I went. Try to hit Summerfest whenever I can when in Milw but it has never been the same since Bo left. God Bless Bo, family and many many of us friends
Posted by Mary Schmidt on July 26, 2020
Bo, you are my gradeschool neighborhood friend. A friendship that continued till the day you died. You were such a generous friend.. I am filled with highschool were and are loved by so many. Pray for all of us now. Thank you Stephanie for keeping in touch. You, Kellyn and Blake and Bubby are and will remain firmly in my prayers.
Mary Dee
Posted by Jim Ryan on July 25, 2020
My sincere condolences to Bo’s Family. I will never forget how Bo welcomed the Stevens Point Brewery at the time, too become a part of the Summerfest family. Large or small operator she was a tenacious advocate for all. Bo’s legacy as a businesswoman, philanthropist, and wonderful human being will continue on unmatched. The Angels are now forever blessed by Bo’s presence. RIP....Bo,
Posted by Eric Oxendorf on July 25, 2020
A most memorable, beautiful and complete person. The Planet will certainly cry a little without her joyous presence. God bless and keep you, Bo.
Posted by Lyle Balistreri on July 25, 2020
Bo was a friend. We used to battle over issues and she gave as good as she got. Totally unafraid, she could stand her ground against anyone. One day we decided that we made better friends than enemies and have remained so all these years. I’m so sorry for her loss. Another bright light gone dark.
Posted by Brigid Sullivan on July 25, 2020
Stephanie, Jay and family, I am sorry for the loss of your Mom/Grandma. She was one of the first people to teach me not to be shy about fundraising. She insisted people had money to give, wanted to give, and why not get it for your cause rather than let it go to another cause. l know you will miss her. I am thinking of all of you.
Posted by Jennifer Vieyra on July 25, 2020
Just by being you Bo, you made this world a better place. I never met anyone with more love to give. Now I have one more reason to look forward to heaven because I know you’re there. ❤️ You
Posted by Mike Desotell on July 25, 2020
Bo, you brought joy and happiness wherever you went. You were an inspiration, a role model and force to be reckoned with in a positive way. Your life will leave a lasting mark as your passing will leave a lasting void.
Posted by Jo Ann Ward on July 25, 2020
Bo. You were a wonder. Loved knowing you.
At last you can Rest In Peace. Prayers to Tom and family.
Posted by Nancy Thorgaard on July 25, 2020
She was so incredibly personable. I met her at a Summerfest concert where she was seated near me. I was in a wheel chair.  She saw that I recognized her and she came over, put her arm around me, and allowed a photo or two to be taken. I thought I looked awful, but Bo was radiant as usual! Such a wonderful personality!  Such a loss to this community, but I'm glad we had her while we did. My sincere condolences to the family.
Posted by Dennis Kois Sr on July 25, 2020
Thanks, Bo, for a pile of fun memories, your leadership on behalf of the community, an incredible entertainment legacy, and all those hours and days of lakefront fun at Summerfest.
I was privileged to be one of the countless volunteers who joined your Summerfest family. What fun we had!
Thanks to your family for sharing you with all of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Posted by Derse Smith on July 25, 2020
So very heartbroken that my friend of many years is gone. My relationship with Summerfest started early when I spent my teens on the Summerfest staff ('70, '71', '72). I first met Bo in 1974 when she was assistant to Henry Jordan (with whom I had worked under those early years). In the '80s family life, relocation and career changes happened for me. Summerfest and Bo re-entered my life when I returned to spend many years in the '90s/early 2000s running the Designated Driver booth on the Summerfest grounds while I was the executive director/president of Business Against Drunk Drivers, Inc. (BADD). Aside from Summerfest, both of us were also involved in other community organizations, so we saw each other frequently. Bo was always very supportive of my role with BADD and was extremely interested in hearing everything about my personal life. (always trying to set me up on dates!)  Having spent much of my career in advertising, marketing and PR, I truly admired Bo's tenacity and fortitude. She was a brilliant marketer, promoter ... she deserved every accolade she received and I know she earned every penny she made throughout her tenure at the helm of Summerfest. Bo had many challenges after leaving Summerfest and moving to Arizona ... the worst, of course, was the debilitating stroke that in recent years, had her bedridden. She would call me once or twice a year, having very long chats to catch her up on everything Milwaukee. I always knew when her name would pop up in my phone that I needed to set aside a good hour for the call. This morning, I found my last saved voicemail from Bo from New Year's Day this year ... "Happy New Year sweet Derse ... this is "Bosey wosey" .... have a great 2020!" Dearest Bo, I will never forget you and our special friendship! So, so many of us are forever grateful to you and for the legendary legacy you bestowed on Milwaukee! My love, thoughts and prayers to all of Bo's family members and other loved ones!
Posted by Jane Clark on July 25, 2020
Bo and our mom Susan Dragisic developed a quick and deep friendship when Bo was the co-chair of UPAF and our mom was Executive Director. They were both dynamos, trailblazers, and women ahead of their time. Our dad John Dragisic, my sister Kate Dragisic Schoyer, and I will never forget their laughter, late night and early morning phone calls, and fun times spent at Miller Lite Ride for the Arts, Summerfest, and dinners out on the town. Bo truly transformed Milwaukee during her Summerfest tenure and we all enjoyed it.

Our hearts go out to the Anderson, Black, and Lindemann families. We know all too well how crushing it is to lose such a dynamic, full of life, all-in mother far too early. 
Fondly, Jane Dragisic Clark
Posted by John Saari on July 25, 2020
Sorry to hear of Bo Black’s passing. Summerfest was never the same after you left. I think the sentiment is shared by the majority of fans of the festival. It was always affordable and had the best as well as the top acts.

I agree with many about your genus in running it including having performances for all ages and genre of music. I still remember The David Letterman Show being given swag on his show.

My condolences to the family.
Posted by Dennis MCGILLIGAN on July 25, 2020
My brother mentioned your passing and the wonderful story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about your legacy and good work. Knew you in college; did some cheerleading with you; always a class act; and that cover was done in class! Rest in peace. Best. Dennis
Posted by Tom Schrader on July 25, 2020
As the newly hired Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the City of Stevens Point, I attended the Governors Conference on Tourism in the late 80's. There Bo was a guess speaker on fund raising for events. I took every thing I learned that day and applied it to our annual event Riverfront Rendezvous. Just like Summerfest, Riverfront Rendezvous has grown to be a mini Summerfest for central Wisconsin. And for that, the City of Stevens Point residents and myself thank you!!! 
Posted by Carl Schulz on July 25, 2020
You added "sparkle" to Langdon Hall at the University of Wisconsin. I was your head waiter in the dining hall, and, took you to Navy Ball...many great memories of years ago...fresh...and...alive! 
Posted by Mike McFadzen on July 25, 2020
I will never forget in 2002 when i won an A.T.V., at summerfest. Didn't want to go down there on the final day which was sunday but my friend talked me into it. O.M.G. what was i thinking? I had three gold pins. When we got down to the miller stage it was very crowded. Bo called names, Top prize a harley davidson, next a polaris a.t.v., Wow, then she said mike mcfadzen from waukesha, wi. Unbelievable. I pushed through the crowd, outta my way. Got up on stage and meet bo, what an honor. Very heartwarming person. Then another drawing for a million dollars, oh well nobody won that but what a memory!!!!! God bless BO BLACK and all she has done for milwaukee and the world.
Posted by Ron Jung on July 25, 2020
You were a face, a force and the strength behind Milwaukee for years that will never be forgotten. Your work and ideas continue to live. God bless you and your family. You are in a better place with God and probably in charge of the entertainment. RIP Bo. Much love.
Posted by Jeff d Brandt on July 25, 2020
Thanks Bo for all your work. You are a great spirit! I hope to see a Summerfest in heaven when I get there! Oh what a gig you will make it!
Posted by Susan Bussmann on July 25, 2020
Dear Bo. I will miss BozeeWoozee and your sweet phone calls. You oozed love and it was greatly appreciated. We loved our trips to Scottsdale to see you, Kellyn and Cheddar Cheese. You added great layers of Bussmann information sharing stories we had never heard.
Rest peacefully until we meet again. 
Susan . H3 and H4
Posted by Mr Aloha on July 24, 2020
Listening to 88.9 right now, saw the story that Bo Black passed, came to this site, and the radio started playing "You belong among the wildflowers." A little weird the timing of this song because Bo Black helped me land amazing tickets to a sold out Tom Petty concert. I was 17 years old, this concert and the memories were something I never forgot, and SO APPRECIATED her help. More importantly, it seems like she made a huge impact to the city of Milwaukee and we are very grateful for everything she did, thank you!!! In the words of Petty, "You belong somewhere you feel free."
Posted by William Timmler on July 25, 2020
Elizabeth "Bo" Black may not of started Summerfest, but she IMPROVED it into one of thee best festivals in the world. Her smile was precious. Myself as a volunteer/nightshift customer service rep. for nearly 20, I had seen many happenings, and improvements brought about by Bo. There's a plaque by the main gate entrance with Bo's name, and etching of her face. I always give a pat on her head and a kiss saying "THANK YOU BO"!!! Go in Peace Bo, and THANK YOU BO!!!
Posted by Joseph DUNCAN on July 25, 2020
Your sister, mother, grandmother, wife, was family to many in Milwaukee. Her warm public personality is what I first learned of “Bo” as a kid growing up in Milwaukee and watching TV. 

Latter on in life and for a decade working at Milwaukee World Festival, I saw first hand how she shared her time with the public on the Henry Meier Festival Grounds. She always gave a listening ear to our regulars who enjoyed the grounds so much.

“Bo” also helped people in so many ways. Her love for music help grow the grounds from mud tents-stages to the national stage. She showed the world how to celebrate diversity with over ten ethnic festivals. Operation Summer Chance hired and mentored the futures for so many kids and provided a safe summer from the violence on the streets. The program changed so many lives.

I remember one season coming back from break and taking a fast walk north behind the Miller Oasis. Here comes “Bo” also walking fast and gives a random arm and arm hug from behind to two yellow shirts who didn’t see her coming. She says a kind word, not missing a beat and keep going, onward -on a mission.

The yellow shirts asked me, Who was that lady?

Saying quickly also in a hurry, “That’s your boss! She signs your check!”

They both smiled.

“Bo” sacrificed a lot of herself for the sake of others well being and happiness. That how I will remember her, making the world better simply doing one thing every day to make someone else feel special.
Posted by Steve Pendergast on July 25, 2020
A Wisconsin treasure with an enormous love for the city of Milwaukee. Until we all meet again in the Summerfest of the heavens! ❤️
Posted by Rink Finish on July 24, 2020
Bo was the top of the heap during her days at Summerfest. We worked for her team over ten times and she was the best host anyone could hope for. My sincere condolences from my end of the entertainment industry in Milwaukee. I missed you when you left the Fest and now any thoughts of those times will be offered up to the reverence of your life from those days. Rest In Peace
Posted by Diane Elizabeth Butler on July 24, 2020
Dear Bo,

I remember how well you represented the Summerfest Festival as one of the most beautiful spokes persons. You made Milwaukee look good especially during the reign of Mayor Henry Maier.

 It was fun to see you, hear you speak and simply feel inspired to aspire to make your own dreams come true as you do good doing well . I did so and still making dreams come true. Thanks!!

You wiil always be remembered and loved.

Thank you,

Diane Elizabeth Butler
Posted by Jean Gilbert on July 24, 2020
Rest in Peace, Bo. You were the heart of Summerfest. One of my first dates with my husband was Summerfest. We caught you running around the grounds adding finishing touches to the the shows many times. You worked your butt off. You booked the best national acts to Milwaukee. When we went to New Orleans for the first time, we saw where you got your ideas for a great Milwaukee party. When you got sick with blood pressure problems years ago and Mike Anderson did a story on WISN about it, I e-mailed Mike as to how I could get in contact with you. You replied to me. 

My husband passed from cancer in 2017 so all these memories are really hitting home tonight. Peace to your family.

Pure class!! 
Posted by Jason Gerlach on July 24, 2020
Bo was beloved in the Gerlach home for so many reasons. We are sending our love to her entire family and remembering Bo fondly. May her memory be a blessing to everyone she touched in her amazing, well-lived life.
Posted by Judy Schwerm on July 24, 2020
Dear Bo:  Not only did you make Summerfest an outstanding experience for so many, your kindness reached into many charities in Milwaukee. You were generous with your time and talent, sharing both with Make-A-Wish, I fondly remember you wearing a Vanna White dress (you were the ONLY one who could wear it) to raise money for Make-A-Wish at the annual golf outing. You added Summerfest experiences to the bidding making an outstanding success.
Posted by Joanna Szalla on July 24, 2020
I met Bo as my client in 2003,, I loved her from the get-go! She was not only an intelligent woman, but am amazing person to all! She helped me through a lot and a mentor and a second mother to me. I loved Bo, she touched so many people, and helped so many people all the time. Her life was amazing and vibrant, and was always had a positive attitude, even when I didn’t, was hard to stay any other way In her presence. She will be missed by all who knew her. God speed Bo, and will meet again, minus a blow dry! Buh-bye!❤️
Posted by Kristine Snider on July 24, 2020
I am heartbroken. Such a beautiful lady. A great friend and so wonderful to my children. Rest in peace dear friend.
Posted by Bobby Davis on July 24, 2020
I will miss you Bo you were an amazing women rest in peace my dearest friend we love you from the Davis family we love you Bo Black.
Posted by Greg Weber on July 24, 2020
And every time I think back to the good stuff in my life. Many of those moments were spent at Summerfest with friends, family, and the citizens of the world partaking in the gift you shepherded for the city of Milwaukee. Thank you Bo ❤️
Posted by Paul LeSage on July 24, 2020
Tom, sorry to hear of your loss, a loss we all share. Karen and I are thinking of you both and the rest of the family. We shared great times at Summerfest with Bo and great times during our days sharing the Brewers and the WTMJ connection.
Posted by Jessica Brown on July 24, 2020
Bo was an amazing mentor and friend. She mentored me through college and hired me for my first full-time job. She was infectious, and under her leadership I found the passion for live music and events that still fuels me today.
I had the great opportunity to live in Arizona for a few years, and Bo was an amazing friend to me in some very challenging times. I am so grateful to have met her, worked under her, and spend time with her.
She will truly be missed in this world, and prayers and hugs go out to her family and friends.
Posted by Martha Pettengill on July 24, 2020
Rest in beautiful peace, Bo. You were a special person & I’m thankful our paths crossed as they did.  There is a new Star shining brightly in the skies tonight ⭐️
Posted by Christina Rukavina on July 24, 2020
Bo, I'll always remember with great fondness our performing days at the Skylight, how we sneaked away from our stage to the wings of another PAC stage to hear Johnny Mathis sing, and how you cracked me up, trying to read my lips, singing next to me, because you still didn't hadn't memorized the befuddling lyrics of Gilbert & Sullivan. You were so grounded and fun. Heaven has an extra angel tonight.
Posted by Gregory Jon on July 24, 2020
Thanks for all those great years at Summerfest and all those chats on Facebook. I was proud to be your "insider" on all things happening in Milwaukee. God speed Bo....see you after the set. 
Page 1 of 2

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Teuila N Taimikovi on August 3, 2020
I miss you dearly May you forever RIP
Posted by Tommy Thompson on August 3, 2020
The history of today's Milwaukee can't be written without including Bo Black. Her energy and passion was beyond contagious, it was that explicit challenge to anyone she came in contact with to believe in not 'better', but rather the 'best.' I know first-hand as Governor, one of the hardest things to do is to convince others to support something that hasn't been done. Bo made the dream real with Summerfest. She never rested on past success, preferring to relentlessly challenge the achievements of the past with the goal of being the world's greatest music festival. Today more than ever, we need to take Bo's relentlessness and resourcefulness to heart as together we seek to address our greater health and social challenges. God Bless Bo, her family and friends. 
Posted by Barbara Vander Leest on August 1, 2020
So many memories of Bo ! We used to play tennis in Milwaukee - that's where we met. Then there were the wonderful parties at the Whitefish Bay house. I live in Arizona now, and caught up with Bo briefly. Such a fun gal!
her Life
Elizabeth “Bo” Black, loving mother, grandmother, wife, and long time Executive Director of Milwaukee World Festival, passed away peacefully today at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona surrounded by family and friends. She was 74 years old. Not a wrinkle on her face, she remained a beauty queen though her final moments, inside and out.

Bo was born in St. Louis, MO on February 7, 1946 to late parents Joseph and Betty Mae Bussmann. She grew up in Clayton, MO with her parents, her brother “Bubbie” (Joseph Bussmann, Jr.) and the rest of the very large Bussmann family. The Bussmann family is best known for inventing the electrical fuse and Bo was always proud of that heritage, making sure that each of her grandchildren had a Buss fuse as a family heirloom.

Bo graduated the from University of Wisconsin Madison in 1967. She was a cheerleader, the homecoming queen and was featured on the cover of Playboy in the 1967 Big Ten edition, “fully clothed”, as she would always remind us.

Upon graduation from the UW, she moved to Milwaukee, WI with her first husband, William Black, and had her first child, Stephanie (Black) Anderson. She had daughter Kellyn Bussmann Lindemann and Blake Joseph Lindemann with her second husband, Thomas Lindemann.

In 2000, Bo married her current husband and the then Milwaukee Brewers Manager, Tom Trebelhorn. “Treb” was a loving husband and was by her side at the time of her death. Bo always loved her friends and adventures with the MLB.

Bo had some extraordinary achievements in her lifetime. Dedicating herself to others, she started her career raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Read-a-Thon and continued to volunteer and serve on boards for organizations such as the United Way and UPAF. She won many awards in the Community and professional organizations around the country and inspired many women (and others) around the world.

Bo had a love of theatre and music and had a brief stint as an actress at the Skylight Theater in Milwaukee where she was told that she would be a “better administrator than performer”. She often said that comment was the reason she decided to join Summerfest in 1974 as the administrative assistant to Henry Jordan, the then Executive Director of Summerfest. She left Summerfest in 1976 to work for Mayor Henry Maier of Milwaukee until she ultimately returned to Summerfest when the Mayor appointed her as the Executive Director in 1984. During her time at Summerfest, Bo grew the Fest from a small festival held in temporary tent structures and dirt walking paths to the worlds greatest music festival, a beautifully landscaped 90 acre festival park filled with permanent stages and scenic walkways along Lake Michigan. She expanded Summerfest to include successful ethnic festivals and even a Winterfest in Cathedral Square Park. She was most proud of the programs she created to make the festivals more accessible to everyone (free entry with a Summerfest Pin or a canned good) and for the mentoring and scholarship program she created for under privileged Milwaukee High School Students, Operation Summerchance.

But more than that, Bo became the face of Summerfest. As she walked the grounds, she’d smile, wave and talk to all the patrons. She always made everyone feel comfortable and welcome.

Bo moved to Scottsdale, AZ in 2001 where she continued to build friendships and contribute to her community. She suffered a brain aneurysm in 2007, but never lost her smile, her laughter or her will to live. She will be fondly remembered in her favorite place, her bed, talking to loved ones, watching the News, the Voice or Major League Baseball.

Bo loved music, sports and raising money for a good cause. She excelled at each of those things, but what she is most known for is being a loyal friend to anyone in a time of need, with just the right piece of advice, story to make you laugh, or thoughtful gift. Bo always made you feel like you were the only one she cared about and she always led with her heart. She was kind to and would befriend and listen to anyone.

Throughout Bo’s life, she developed strong friendships that had a lasting impact. This started during her childhood in St. Louis and continued up until she passed. By her friends and family, Bo will always be remembered for her generosity, her heart, her radiance and her laughter.

Bo is survived by her husband, Tom Trebelhorn, her three children, Stephanie Anderson of Pelham, NY, Kellyn Lindemann of Scottsdale, AZ and Blake Lindemann of Los Angeles, CA., her brother Joseph A. Bussmann, Jr, and her four loving grandchildren, Grace, Jack, Brewer (“Brew Crew”) and Brady.