SANTA CLAUS â€" Howard C. "Buddy" Buickel, 89, of Santa Claus, passed away Monday, April 8, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital in Evansville.
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He was born Dec. 5, 1923, in Boonville to Louis M. and Emma Mae (Hougland) Buickel. Howard served in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 11th Airborne in the Pacific theater and was part of the invasion of Luson and the second invasion of Leyte.
After the war, he enrolled at Indiana University, where he was a three-year letterman in baseball and part of the 1949 Big Ten Championship team. Howard played one year of minor league baseball for the Ft. Lauderdale Braves of the Florida International League in 1950.Â He also met and married the love of his life, Juanita Wells of Greensburg. They were married Feb. 8, 1948, and spent 62 wonderful years together until her death from Alzheimer's in 2010.
Howard was a teacher and coach from 1951 until his retirement in 1989. He taught and coached at West Lafayette and Corydon before moving to Huntingburg, where he taught 1954 to â€˜68.Â During his time at Huntingburg High School, he was employed as an English teacher and head football coach.
Howard served as principal at Owensville High School for two years and then Dale High School, which in 1972 became Heritage Hills High School, where he was their first principal. He finished out his career from 1975 to 1989 as a physical-education teacher and attendance director at Boonville Junior High.
He and his wife were residents of Christmas Lake Village for 34 years, where they enjoyed playing golf and fishing. After his retirement they traveled the world, seeing much of Europe. He was a member of the Santa Claus United Methodist Church and the Santa Claus American Legion.
Howard was a tireless fan and recruiter for Indiana University and in 2003 was awarded the Z.G. Clevenger award by the Indiana University "I" Men's Association. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents and two brothers, George and Paul.
Howard is survived by two sons, Marc (Carol) Buickel of Crystal Lake, Ill., and Gregg Buickel of Evansville; one daughter, Sherry (Tony) Sutton of South Bend; one sister, Bettye Metcalf of St. Louis, Mo.; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Â Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, April 12, at the Santa Claus United Methodist Church in Santa Claus with burial to follow at the Santa Claus United Methodist Church Cemetery.
The Santa Claus American Legion Honor Guard will conduct military graveside rites.Â The Revs. Steve Seitz and Joe Kamman will officiate the services.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 11, (today) at the Nass & Son Funeral Home in Huntingburg and one hour prior to the funeral Friday at the Santa Claus United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's or Parkinson's associations.
Howard's family would like to thank the wonderful people at Newburgh Healthcare Center for all they have done for Howard and the family.
Published in Spencer County Journal-Democrat on Apr. 11, 2013