Steven Clayton Buswell (1944 - 2016)

Obituary
  • "Obviously it's been a very long time since I saw Steve (or..."
    - John Snow
  • "Steve was a wonderfull Christian man, and was so sad to..."
    - Tom & Nancy Paul
  • "You never forget a smile and laugh like Steve has. May he..."
    - Joyce Zitek
  • "I just found out tonight that you are no longer with us in..."
    - Dee Jenks (McBee)
  • "Steve was so genuine, cheerful and loving, a common thread..."
    - Elaine Floyd

Steven Clayton "Buzz" Buswell, age 71, passed away peacefully at his home on Aug. 1, 2016. Steve was born on Aug. 5, 1944, in Portland, Ore. He was one of five children born to Ed and Thelma Buswell. He graduated from Willamina High School, where he excelled at football, wrestling and theater. Steve received a Naval ROTC scholarship and attended Oregon State University. He left college to work for logging operations in Oregon and Northern California. He met Joella Kronsteiner and they married in Oregon City, Ore., in 1965. She was his "True Blue Odie" through 51 years of marriage. At age 20, Steve started a 35-year career in the elevator industry, initially with Otis Elevator Company. He moved his young family to jobs in Portland, Ore.; Montana; and Wyoming; and Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, Alaska, eventually settling in Anchorage in 1974. Steve worked in the trade as a construction foreman on projects all over Alaska and the Northwest, as well as the American Embassy in Thailand. He retired from building elevators in 1999, and began traveling extensively with Joella, visiting many U.S. states, Europe, Asia and Africa. Steve was a genuine "people person" and had a true gift for connecting with folks anywhere he went. He had an extensive community of dear friends through the 12-Step program. He was deeply grateful for the support that helped him maintain 37 years of sobriety and, in turn, he touched the lives of many. On multiple occasions, he was asked to officiate the weddings of friends and family. For the last several years, Steve and Joella have enjoyed wintering in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, where their friendship circle extends. New and old friends were always welcome at the Buswell household, and it was filled with company on a regular basis. For a number of years, Steve was active in local theater, performing with Anchorage Community Theater and the Alaska Lite Opera Company. He enjoyed roles in many productions including South Pacific, Oliver!, My Fair Lady, King & I, The Fantasticks and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. After retirement, Steve dedicated himself to being of service to others. He actively volunteered with various organizations such as Hospice of Anchorage, the Cancer Support Group and the Center for Attitudinal Healing. For many years, he volunteered to conduct weekly AA meetings at the Anchorage jail. Steve was a wonderful father and an amazing grandpa (aka "Papa" and/or "Baboo") to his four granddaughters. He attended every school performance and sporting event he could. He loved to camp, fish, downhill ski, hike and take long bike rides with his family. He always had an interesting nature fact or tale to share from his farming and logging days. He had an infectious love of life, and chose to live each day "happy, joyous and free." Steve is preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Thelma Buswell; and by his brother Lyle Buswell. He is survived by his wife, Joella Buswell; his children, Caben Buswell and spouse Melissa of Seattle, Wash., Kelley Hartlieb and spouse Greg of Anchorage and Benny Holck and spouse Atrid Lucia of Anchorage; granddaughters, Tatum Hartlieb, Piper Hartlieb, Maia Buswell and Sofia Holck; and siblings, Edwina Logan of West Linn, Ore., Guy Buswell of Sandy, Ore., and Jud Buswell of Molalla, Ore. A celebration of Steve's life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Christian Church in Anchorage. Aloha attire is encouraged. Donations honoring Steve may be made to Providence Alaska Foundation/Hospice.
Religious Service Information
First Congregational Church
2610 E Northern Lights Blvd
Anchorage, AK 99508
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Aug. 6, 2016