Buel Franklin Leuthen, son of the late Millard Joseph and Lela Ellen (Copeland) Leuthen, was born August 11, 1923 in Vienna, Missouri where he grew up and attended school. He was a 1941 graduate of Vienna High School. While in school, he was very active in sports and played basketball, football, and softball.
For a time Buel worked at the Vichy Airport hauling rock on the runway and also worked at the Vichy Quarry. He was then drafted into the United States Army on January 27, 1943. He served as a non-commissioned officer at the military academy in Mexico, Missouri for 3 ½ years before being called into active service.
Buel spent the next 16 ½ years in the United States Army and retired in 1963. He obtained the rank of Captain and received several awards which include: the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. His assignments took him to Germany, Italy, Korea and the following stations in the continental United States: Fort George G. Mead-Maryland, Fort Riley - Kansas, Fort Benning - Georgia, Mexico - Missouri and Fort Leonard Wood - Missouri.
On August 19, 1950, Buel was united in marriage to Goldie O’Neal in Mexico, Missouri. They shared over 52 years together and were blessed with three children: Janet Diane, Michael Gerald and Lisa Gaye. Goldie preceded Buel in death on December 2, 2002.
After retiring from the military, Buel worked for the next seven years for a construction company driving a truck. He was very observant and learned how to build a successful business. He developed five different subdivisions on Hwy 28. He built and became the owner/operator of the Leuthen Mobile Home Court and ran it for many years.
In his spare time, Buel enjoyed dancing and singing Country Western Songs. He loved spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks and water skied until the age of 50. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Waynesville, the Waynesville / Ft. Wood Shrine Club (for over 50 years), and the Waynesville Masonic Lodge #375 AF & AM. Most importantly, he loved spending time with his family and cherished those times.
Buel passed away Friday, April 27, 2012 in his son’s home in O’Fallon, Missouri having attained the age of 88 years. He will be sadly missed by all those that knew and loved him.
Buel leaves to cherish his memory his three children: Janet Diane Meccia (Robert) of Farragut, TN, Michael Gerald Leuthen (Maureen) of O’Fallen, MO and Lisa Bourgeois of Valley Park, MO; six grandchildren: Brian Meccia, Jacob Leuthen, Lindsay Peterson, Brad Meccia, Sophia Bourgeois and Caila Bourgeouis; two great grandchildren: Sydnie Leuthen and Coleman Leuthen; and other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Buel was preceded in death by one sister: Bonnie Lillis and one brother: Gerald Leuthen.
Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 12, 2012 in the Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Waynesville / St. Robert with Rev. Richard Breeden officiating. Mike Leuthen, Buel’s son, gave a beautiful eulogy and Buel’s grandsons, Brad and Brian Meccia, recalled their wonderful memories of their grandfather. Jake Leuthen, Buel’s grandson, read the poem “A Veteran Died Today” in honor of his grandfather. Soloist Becky Lercher sang “Amazing Grace” and the songs “Go Rest High on that Mountain” and “Welcome Home” were played. Serving as escorts were Michael G. Leuthen, Michael W. Leuthen, Jake Leuthen, Brian Meccia, Brad Meccia and Greg Eads. Serving as honorary escorts were John Niccum, Marvin Holeyfield and Gary Eads.
Burial with military honors followed in the Vienna Public Cemetery of Vienna. Military honors were provided by the United States Army of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences can be sent at www.memorialchapelsandcrematory.com