Hans H. Buehler
February 3, 1933 - November 8, 2012
Hans H. Buehler was born February 3, 1933 in Germany, and died November 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. His death was the result of pneumonia, lung disease and heart disease. He had suffered declining health for several years. Memorial Services, under the direction of Pierce Brothers Westwood Village, were held November 11th. Interment will be held privately by the family. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Vivian Wells Buehler. He is also survived by daughters Julianna Tierney (husband David) and Bridget Marie Buehler; and by sons Todd Lynn Smith (wife Suzanne) and Kevin H. Buehler. Additionally he is survived by granddaughters Chanel Marie Smith and Katelyn Anna Tierney, and by grandsons Kevin Henry Buehler Jr., Brandon Jon-Michael Tierney, and Cameron Tyler Smith. Hans Buehler was the co-founder, CEO, and Board Chairman of Coastcast Corporation, which became a publicly held company with many locations and over 5000 employees. Buehler was 12 years old when World War II ended in Germany. He lost his mother and a sister in the allied bombing of Dresden; and he lost his older brother who was a soldier. After the death of his father, he was offered an opportunity to immigrate to America in 1953. He came on the SS America with nothing but a knapsack holding some books and a few pieces of clothing. Sponsored by the Peabody family, with whom he lived for the next few years, he began his journey that could be described as living the "American Dream" of success by a young immigrant. Hans defined his greatest achievement as winning the love of his soul mate, Vivian whom he married in 1974. Father to four children and grandfather to five more, Hans was also father, brother, mentor and friend to countless others, people who lives were touched and improved by his extraordinary generosity. Hans and Vivian founded the Buehler Family Foundation, and contributed to many organizations, notably his favorite, the Salvation Army. Yet perhaps his most impressive acts of generosity were private, unknown to anyone but those whose lives were transformed by them. Hans and Vivian quietly loaned money for education to numerous people fulfilling their belief that they had an obligation to repay the kindness and generosity Hans received upon coming to America. His greatest belief was that from education came independence and a beautiful life - a belief he himself exemplified. Hans Buehler lived his own life fully. He had a robust passion for everything, and an adventurous spirit that led him to scuba diving, heli-skiing, deep sea fishing, yachting, and traveling the world. His extraordinary IQ and quest for knowledge was fed by his love of books, and not surprisingly, he was a wicked chess player. But most of all, Hans was kind. When he entered a room, everyone was drawn to his presence. He had an indelible combination of continental elegance and courtly old-school manner, and was charming, even in his childlike self-effacement. Hans Buehler changed, improved, and inspired every life he touched. Much can be said of him, but this most of all: He will be missed.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, 2012