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SOUTHAMPTON- Charles D. Buczala, 79, of Southampton, passed into the arms of God on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family and listening to the hymn, "Just As I Am." Those who knew him celebrate his life and remember him for his kind and joyful spirit.
Charles was born in Holyoke in 1933 to Stephen and Susan (Polisin) Buczala. He lived all his life in the Pioneer Valley, graduating from Northampton High School and The University of Massachusetts.
He retired from the machine maintenance department at Hamilton Standard in East Windsor, Conn. He was happy to be part of the wind energy team there in the 1980's. Charles chose to work in retirement and spent a number of years working for Wicked Clean and the Grenier Family Photographers (Grynn and Barrett) on the school photo team, a job he loved for the contact with young people.
Charles served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1957 in the Sixth Fleet aboard the U.S.S. Shasta and in the U.S. Naval Reserves until 1961. For many years he entertained family and friends with numerous "sea stories."
Family members note Charles' ministry to others and would call him a humble servant. He served at the Springfield Rescue Mission bringing a message of hope to many since 1977. There he was a board member as well as Chairman of the Board. Charles was a member of Cornerstone Ministry to bikers almost from its inception 34 years ago. He earned his "colors" last year and proudly wore them as he served meals and prayer to bikers as part of a service to them during the annual Loudon, N.H. motorcycle rally.
Charles had an abundant life. As a teen he enjoyed working on his grandparents farm in the West Farms area of Northampton and
was a member of the Walther League, a youth organization of the Lutheran church. He participated in scouting as a child and as an adult. Later in life he enjoyed traveling with his wife, Susan (Marguet), to a number of places in the states and abroad, returning to Hawaii a number of times. His hobby was photography and he was often seen toting his camera equipment to events in the area. After his service to God, his greatest pleasure was spending time with his family.
Charles leaves his wife, Susan; his children, Susanne Davies of Portland, Ore., Daniel Buczala of Dunbarton, N.H., Carl Buczala of Rowley, Edwin Flagg of Downington, Pa., James Flagg of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Robert Buczala of Bozeman, Mont.; ten grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a large number of nieces and nephews. Charles also leaves his former wife, Bette (Heron) Tillotson.
Calling hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Cusack Funeral Home, 94 Main Street, Westfield. There will be a gathering at the funeral home at 9 a.m. on Thursday for those who wish to go to the Veteran's Cemetery for a short service. The memorial service will follow at The Evangelical Free Church, 568 Southwick Road, Westfield at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Springfield Rescue Mission (hope4springfield.org), P.O. Box 9045, 19 Bliss St., Springfield, MA 01102 or Cornerstone Motorcycle Ministry (www.cornerstonemm.com), P.O. Box 10541, Swanzey, NH 03446.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Sept. 11, 2012