WINDHAM – Peter Busque, a well-known business owner and town councilor, died of an apparent suicide Wednesday.

Police found his body at about 6 p.m. in his rock quarry on Nash Road.

“Stunned disbelief is probably the best way to characterize the response that I’ve seen and heard,” said Town Manager Tony Plante.

Busque, 50, the owner of Busque Construction, is survived by his wife and four children, according to his company’s website.

Several friends and colleagues, shocked by the news and manner of his death, said Thursday that Busque was an affable and outgoing man, an innovative business owner and a generous community member.

“Peter believed in himself, believed in people and in doing what was right,” said Joe Gagne, owner of the Roosevelt Landscape and Garden Center.

A message board that read “Rest in Peace Peter” stood Thursday outside Gagne’s nursery, across Route 302 from Busque’s quarry.

The quarry, approved by the town in 2009, was the subject of years of debate in Windham, which was what drew Busque into town politics.

He held a party at the quarry in January 2010 to celebrate the election of four new town councilors, including himself, who he hoped would improve the town’s ability to work with businesses.

Earlier this month, a lien was placed on the quarry for more than $37,000 in unpaid blasting services. The town of Standish placed another 20 liens, totaling nearly $8,000, on properties Busque owned in that town.

Busque, originally from the Moosehead Lake region, moved to Windham more than 20 years ago and lived on Little Sebago Lake, according to his company’s website.

Mark Curtis, general manager of Gorham Sand and Gravel in Buxton, said Busque was known for his knowledge of the area and connections in the community.

“You’re not in this business in this area for long and not know who Peter Busque is,” Curtis said.

When they met, Busque was a home builder. Curtis said he watched Busque expand his business, adding excavating services and later buying gravel pits and selling aggregate.

“He wasn’t afraid of taking a chance,” Curtis said.

Busque’s boldness wasn’t limited to his business decisions. No matter what the issue, Curtis said, he always spoke his mind.

Busque was also a man of action, Curtis said. This spring, he raised about $1,500 to replace the stolen “Open for Business” sign on Interstate 95 that had been given to Gov. Paul LePage as a gift.

Gagne, the garden center owner, said he and Busque worked together on countless community projects, from a breast cancer fundraiser to the BMX park that’s being built off Route 202.

Plante, the town manager, said Busque’s passionate and persistent nature was also evident in his work as a councilor.

“Peter brought enthusiasm and the can-do spirit to pretty much everything he did,” he said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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