Kenneth Walter Buxton

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WILLIAMSBURG - Kenneth Walter Buxton of Williamsburg, Virginia, died peacefully at home on Friday, August 1. He was born on November 4, 1924 to Ada Lee Hawken and Walter Henry Buxton in Webster Groves, Missouri. Ken was a logical thinker, a wonderful storyteller and an adventurer. He was a natural mathematician, who at age 16 was called on to teach high school physics and math as World War II was breaking out and the school's math teacher enlisted. He himself enlisted in the Army before his 18th birthday (disguising his age) and trained with the Army in advanced electrical engineering at Lehigh University and at Camp Crowder, Missouri. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the Assam Valley of India, part of a unit supporting American and Chinese troops fighting the Japanese in Burma and China. He liked to tell stories about meal after meal of Vienna sausages and hitching a ride on a plane "flying the Hump" - part of the famous operation airlifting supplies over the Himalayas for Allied troops past occupying forces. After Armistice, he commandeered an Army Jeep and went on a wild game hunt. Ken attended Purdue University on the G.I. Bill and received a degree in electrical engineering. There he met the love of his life, Kathryn Irene Roark, and the two were married on September 4, 1949. He worked for a short time as a lineman in Texas for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. He and Kathryn settled in Webster Groves, and he took a job in the engineering division of Purina Farms in St. Louis. That was where they started a family. Working for Purina and, later, for Avon Products, Ken helped oversee site selection, new construction and facilities management in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Iran, Chile, Italy, England, France, Ireland, Spain, Japan, Poland and the Soviet Union. He and Kathryn lived for many years in Wilton, Connecticut, and he commuted daily to work in Manhattan. Ken was always discovering a new passion: he was an avid hunter and fly fisherman; he built a canvas canoe with his kids; he played tennis, skied, sailed and was a constant putterer always concocting a new device or plan to save time, labor, money or just do something more efficiently. He loved to read, and was a connoisseur of food, wine and music. In his 60s, he learned how to play the bass, eventually playing with the Hampton Roads Orchestra and later with the James River Symphony Orchestra. He served as a volunteer stage manager for the Williamsburg Symphonia, volunteered at Colonial Williamsburg, adopted a section of Virginia highway with Kathryn and was active in several social groups at Kings Mill. He and Kathryn loved to travel, and they took many trips together: to Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, California wine country and South America. They also saw much of the United States by motorcar with their five children, camping in tents and later traveling with campers and in motorhomes. After they retired to Williamsburg, Virginia, they continued to travel widely in their motorhome, frequently planning trips so they could visit their far-flung children and grandchildren in Idaho, Washington, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida and Maine. He is survived by his daughter Christy Wauzzinski and her husband Robert; son Kenneth Arthur Buxton and his wife Karen; son Donald Buxton; daughter Kathryn Buxton and her husband Rick Ackermann; daughter Patricia DeSimone and her husband Randy Whitehouse; grandchildren Sharon Rose and Aric Robert Wauzzinski; Kathryn Irene, Kenneth Ira, Konnor Ian and Kelly Inez Buxton; Gina Marie and David Austin DeSimone; and Jane Lee Ackermann; and great grandchildren Dylan Keith and Kenneth Michael Buxton. There will be visiting hours at the Buxton house on Friday, August 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. Online condolences may be offered at
Published in Virginia Gazette on Aug. 6, 2014
Kenneth Walter Buxton
Click name above for additional details at:
Arrangements under the direction of:
Nelsen Funeral Home - Williamsburg
3785 Strawberry Plains Rd. | Williamsburg, VA 23188 | (757) 565-1141
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