Dennis R. Buhrer
A Celebration of Life for Lamar resident Dennis Buhrer will be held 10:00 AM on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at the Lamar First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Rory Gillespie officiating. Internment and Military Honors, under the auspices of the local VFW and American Legion will be held at Fairmount Cemetery.
Visitation for Dennis will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Peacock Family Chapel.
Dennis was born on November 4, 1943 at Davenport, Iowa to Dewey Lester and Marjorie Eileen (White) Buhrer and passed away at his home on September 4, 2021 at the age of 77.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Marie on February 23, 2019, parents and an infant brother Gerald.
Dennis is survived by his daughters Shelley Hasser of Lamar and Shauna Whitworth of Littleton, CO; grandchildren Courtney (Matt) Neuhold, Cade Hasser and Sophia Reichert and his great granddaughter Mazie Neuhold. He is also survived by his siblings Richard (Cheri) Buhrer and JoLee (Haskell) Cooley all of Wichita as well as nieces, nephews other family and many friends.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Lamar Area Hospice or to the Lamar First Presbyterian Church either directly or through the funeral home office.
In Dennis’ own words:
I was born on November 4, 1943 in Davenport, Iowa. Both my parents, Marjorie Eileen (White) and Dewey Lester Buhrer were born and raised in central Kansas on farms. My dad was raised around Enterprise and my mother around Wellington. A friend of my dad had talked him into moving to Davenport, Iowa and going to work for the Rock Island Arsenal as a machinist. The Rock Island Arsenal is located on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River. My mother and dad were married on October 20, 1940 in Davenport, Iowa. I had an older brother; Jerrold Junior who was born on May 29, 1942, but sadly died August 22, 1942. He was born with intestinal problems and they just could not get it fixed. About a year after I was born, my dad received his draft notice from the Army. He moved our family back to Wellington, Kansas so we could be close to my mother’s family. It was in Wellington, Kansas that my sister, Linda JoLee was born on April 22, 1945.
In 1947 my dad went to work for Boeing Aircraft Company as a machinist and he worked there until he retired at 70 years old in 1985. In 1948 we moved to Wichita, Kansas. My mother was a hair dresser and had her own shops until she finally retired at 76 years old. I was raised and went all through school in Wichita. I had a fun childhood and am so thankful to have been raised in the 50”5. We played a lot of baseball, basketball and all the childhood games. My parents always encouraged us to work and have jobs which I am very thankful for once again. I started delivering the Wichita Eagle newspaper when I was in the fourth grade. There was a morning and evening paper so I got up at 6:00 AM and delivered the paper before school. Then after school I would deliver the evening paper. On Friday evening and Saturday morning we would go door to door and collect money for that week’s paper so we could pay that week’s paper bill. When I was in junior high, I got a job at a drug store delivering medicine, sweeping floors, working at the soda fountain and a lot of other odd jobs. It was while I was in junior high that my youngest brother Richard Kelley was born on December 24, 1957. Between my junior and senior years of high school I had a friend whose uncle followed the wheat harvest and he talked me and then my mother into letting me do that. We started in Oklahoma and went all the way to North Dakota. That was quite a learning experience, being away from home for three months and seeing a whole different world. In my senior year of high school, I got me another paper route. I have always been so thankful my parents encouraged us to have little jobs growing up. Even though I worked every day no matter how cold, how dep the snow, how much it was raining, or whatever mother nature threw our way, it did not seem that bad and I always liked that jingle of money in my pocket. I learned so much from those jobs that helped me the rest of my life. I was able to buy my first car which was a 54 Chevrolet from all those little jobs and then keep it maintained.
I graduated from high school in 1961 and went to one year of college at Wichita University and Kansas University. College just was not my thing, but my dear mother absolutely insisted that I had to learn some trade to make it through this world with any success. So a friend of mine and I decided to go to Pittsburgh, Kansas and attend a vocational college. I took Welding and Auto Body Repair and Painting. We completed one year and came back to Wichita where I found a job at Price Auto which was the Ford dealership. I worked there for the next two and on half years. When I came home from college my first year, I stopped into the drug store that I had worked at to visit a friend. He introduced me to the new soda fountain girl whose name he did not know yet and who had just started her first day of work. I would come into the drug store and visit my friend and smile at the fountain girl, but we really did not pay each other much attention. I went back to trade school and on Thanksgiving vacation that year I had my first date with that soda fountain girl. WOW did that blonde headed, blue eyed girl named Marie ever take me on a 56 year journey! We dated for two years and got married on November 14, 1964. In high school I had studied drafting and mathematics. About a year after we were married, I applied for a drafting job at Boeing Aircraft and was hired. I loved that job with the good pay and benefits. It was during this period that on March 22, 1967 our oldest daughter Shelley was born. But like life does, it threw us a curve ball. I was a member of the Kansas Air National Guard and in 1968 when North Korea captured the USS Pueblo spy ship we were called to active duty. I spent the next almost two years on active duty. I really had a very easy tour of duty compared to so many. I have always been very proud of my service. I went when I was called, went where I was told, and did what I was ordered. I was honorably discharged in 1969. I served two years of active duty and four years in the Air National Guard. I got my job back at Boeing, but a lack of orders and the slow economy led to a big lay off and I was one of those people. The same day that I was laid off from Boeing, Marie found out she was pregnant. That curve ball again.
So it was back to the body shop to make our living. I only worked there about six months and my old boss from Boeing called me. He had moved to Midland, Texas and gone to work for a small new company by the name of Windecker Aircraft who needed a draftsman. We decided we would try it and off we went to Midland, Texas. It was here that our youngest daughter Shauna was born October 2, 1970. Just four months into this new job and Windecker just pretty much ran out of money and closed everything down. We thought we would spend the rest of our lives there and then here comes that old curveball again. Marie had an aunt and uncle who lived in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. Her uncle who was a driller on an oil rig and had always told me that if you ever need a job “boy” you come see me. I did not think that day would ever come, but “boy” was in bad need of a job. So we loaded a U Haul truck up and Shelley, me and the dog drove the truck. Marie and two month old Shauna followed in the car. I remember Marie would flash her lights when Shauna got hungry and we would pull over, all get in the car and feed Shauna.
I went to work for Murfin Drilling Company as a rough neck in December 1970. I really kind of liked the work, but in those days we worked seven days a week and were out of town more than we were in town. I missed both girls birthdays that first year and just decided I did not want to do this the rest of my life. So back to the body and fender repair. There was a body shop in Cheyenne Wells and I got a job there. I worked there a little less than two years and then I was told about a body shop in Eads, Colorado that was for sale. To be honest, I was a little reluctant; but about everyone thought I should try my own business. So we moved to Eads and ran our own body shop for about a year and a half, but I just did not like dealing with the public and insurance. So it was back to the oil field. I got a job as a pumper in the oil field in Brandon, Colorado. Just about a year later another job opportunity came along and I was fortunate enough to get the job. It was a pipeline operating job with Diamond Shamrock. It was really a good job which payed good and had good benefits. The job required us to live in Lamar, Colorado and we moved here in February 1976. We did not know it at the time, but at last we had found our home. We raised our family here and retired here. I ended up working for Diamond Shamrock which turned in Valero for the next 33 years. Those 33 years were pleasant years, raising our daughters, engaging with them in school activities, taking family vacations and then watching them get married and raising their families. Shelley has on daughter Courtney and on son Cade. They were raised south of Lamar and we enjoyed all those years watching them grow up and participating in all their activities. Shauna has on daughter, Sophia. They live in Littleton, Colorado. A little further away, but close enough to see each other pretty often.
I retired in 2009 and Marie retired in 2011. We were so excited about finally getting to do all those activities that we had not had time for. Then here came that damn curve ball again. Just six months after Marie retired, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. We were able to travel to some places that we had always wanted to see, went on a couple of bus trips and flew for the first time in almost 50 years to see Dollywood. It was also during this period that our granddaughter Courtney blessed us with a great granddaughter Mazie Renee. She brought so much joy to both of us and so thankful Marie got to spend a year and one half with her. Marie fought cancer as hard as humanly possible for seven years. She never complained about it, just accepted it and on with life. I always remember her saying well “It is what it is.” She lost her battle with cancer on February 23, 2019. Without a doubt that was the saddest day of my entire life. We had been married over 54 years and had known each other over 56 years. I am going to continue on the best I can because that is what she would have wanted.
I have always had a love for older cars and antiques my whole life. I have always loved taking something that everyone else has given up on and trying to make it as good as new again. For the most part I usually succeeded. I restored several cars, motor scooter, furniture and quite a few gas pumps. I always had a love for the old gas stations and loved collecting its old memorabilia. The 57 Chevy always meant so much to Marie and I. We had our first date in one, had one when we got married and restored one and took it to car shows. I enjoyed playing a little poker. Never too good at it, but always thought it kept my mind working and enjoyed the fun.
Well as you can tell, God was good to me and gave me a good life. I was born to parents who truly wanted me and loved me. They raised me well and provided me with everything that I needed. I had a fun childhood and was never abuse in any way. God gave me a decent amount of intelligence which allowed me to navigate through this world without too much problem. I always thought that I was blessed with good eye to hand coordination and good mechanical ability which always enabled me to get good paying jobs. I truly cannot find the words to express how fortunate I was to find Marie and then be able to have her as my wife for over 54 years. She was such a good wife and mother. And then she blessed us with two beautiful and wonderful daughters who I have always been proud to call my daughters. And then our daughters to bless us with three wonderful grandchildren who once again made us so proud. And then a great granddaughter. I was so fortunate to find such a good job that provided me the needs to raise my family comfortably. I was able to make it through life with pretty darn good health and able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. When I was pretty young, I came across a piece of advice whose author is unknown. I think I took his advice and tried to live like he suggested. It was written quite a few years ago as you can tell from some of the words in it, but I would like to pass it along to my family.
“Go placidly amid the noise & haste, & remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud & aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideas; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & stars; you have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, Whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever you labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”