R. Alan Buehler, 63, passed away unexpectedly at home in Colorado Springs on October 8, 2013. Born on November 6, 1949, in Columbia, Missouri, Alan spent his childhood in Carrollton, Missouri, a small farm town near the Missouri River. Following high school, Alan enlisted in the Navy, earned his Trident, and became an elite U.S. Navy SEAL.
Alan was a patriotic American and Vietnam veteran who was proud of his military service. A member of UDT 11 and part of the Navy's Manned Spacecraft Recovery Force, he played a key role in the recovery of two Apollo spacecraft. In 1971, Alan assisted in the recovery of Apollo 15 after it landed in the Pacific Ocean from a 12-day mission to the moon. In 1972, he made initial contact with the Apollo 17 Command Module after its splashdown in the Pacific. He and his teammates secured the capsule and assisted the three astronauts out of the Command Module.
On March 10, 1974, after completing his Navy service and returning home, Alan married his beloved wife of 39 years, Sally A. Stratton of Braymer, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and moved to Colorado Springs, where Alan began his long career in the insurance business. He was a well-respected businessman and State Farm Insurance Agent for more than thirty years.
Alan's life was defined by devotion to his family, business and community. He coached youth sports teams, was an adult mentor for Junior Achievement, and supported his children in school academics and athletics. He was also an active member of the Navy SEAL Foundation and was President of the University Park Homeowners Association. Alan was an avid fisherman, hiker and outdoor enthusiast.
Alan is survived by his wife, Sally, and their two children. Lindsey resides in Castle Rock with her husband Robert Wahl and their two daughters, Raegan and Alenna. Alan and Sally's son, Scott, resides in Colorado Springs. Alan is also survived by his sister, Jenny, and her family who live in Broomfield.
In his memory, Alan's family will hold a service of remembrance at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 17th at First United Methodist Church, 420 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs.
Flowers may be sent to Swan Law Funeral Directors, 501 North Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Memorial donations may be sent to the Navy SEAL Foundation, which supports the families of fallen Navy Seals, at 1619 D Street, Building 5326, Virginia Beach, VA 23459.