Max Buettgenbach Obituary

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In Memory of

Max Allen Buettgenbach

October 7, 1920 - June 21, 2014
Obituary

Lt. Col. Max A. Buettgenbach, a 41 year resident of Merced, CA, passed away at home on Saturday, June 21st surrounded by his loving family. Max was born in Lincoln, NE on October 7, 1920 to Bertha and Robert Buettgenbach. Max attended school in Milford, NE and college in LeMars, IO. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp, earned his private pilot's license and graduated from cadets in 1943 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He went on to fly B-17's, B-24's and B-29's at Embry-Riddle. He flew 33 combat missions from the island of Guam. When the war was over, Max returned to Nebraska where he farmed for seven years. In 1953, he was recalled to the renamed...
Lt. Col. Max A. Buettgenbach, a 41 year resident of Merced, CA, passed away at home on Saturday, June 21st surrounded by his loving family. Max was born in Lincoln, NE on October 7, 1920 to Bertha and Robert Buettgenbach.
Max attended school in Milford, NE and college in LeMars, IO. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp, earned his private pilot's license and graduated from cadets in 1943 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He went on to fly B-17's, B-24's and B-29's at Embry-Riddle. He flew 33 combat missions from the island of Guam. When the war was over, Max returned to Nebraska where he farmed for seven years. In 1953, he was recalled to the renamed United States Air Force where he flew B-36's and B-47's.
In 1957, Max moved to Castle AFB and checked out in B-52's, which he flew for the next six years before a short stint in Taiwan before being transferred to Nebraska in 1969. He was assigned as Deputy Director of Operations at SAC Headquarters. Max loved this job where he enjoyed knowing where the SAC aircraft were and what they were doing at all times. In 1972, Max and his family moved to March AFB in Riverside, CA where he was Chief of the Force Status Division before his retirement on February 1, 1973.
Max and his wife, Virginia returned to Merced where they have lived ever since. During his retirement, Max started a Fix-It business and enjoyed doing odd jobs for many years.
One of Max's great loved was to fly – the lower and faster the better. He accumulated 9,000 flying hours. He was very proud of earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and many other awards and medals.
Max was preceded in death by his first wife of 26 years, Vivian; parents, Robert and Bertha; and six siblings, Don, Dwayne, Darrell, Dean, Alma and Joyce.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia Buettgenbach; daughters, Darlene Buettgenbach, Kathleen Schoen and Linda Marcus all of Merced; granddaughter, Debbie (Dan) Thomas of Modesto; great grandsons, Bob (Jennifer) Smith and Tom (Samantha) Smith; and great great grandchildren, Landon, Bridgett and Andrew Smith.
Max loved Jesus Christ and through scripture has proved to himself that there is a place in heaven for him and his family. He loved the Northwest, especially hunting and fishing there. He loved Spokane, WA saying it was a great place to live, ski and fish. He enjoyed Alaska, both to visit his daughter, Kathy and to fish. He would bring home halibut and salmon to eat for months. He enjoyed vacationing in Hawaii and comparing war stories with the other veterans at the Hale Koa Hotel. Max was an avid SF Giants baseball fan and attended Spring Training in Arizona this year.
He was a member of the VFW for 70 years and a member of MOAA. He was an active member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
A visitation will be held at Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home, 1490 B St., Merced, CA on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 1:00pm-5:00pm with Recitation of Rosary to follow at 5:00pm. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 671 E. Yosemite Ave., Merced, CA on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 10:00am with interment to follow at Winton District Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to your favorite charity be made in Max's honor.
Arrangements under the direction of Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home, Merced, CA.

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"I'm so sorry to hear about you dad's passing, Linda. May you have peace in you heart knowing that I thought of him often. He was the man in a blue Air..." Cliff Van Slyke (Antelope, CA)

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MAX ALLEN BUETTGENBACH 10/7/1920-6/21/2014 Lt. Col. Max A. Buettgenbach, a 41 year resident of Merced, CA, passed away at home on Saturday, June...

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