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Dr. Alvin “Doc” Buechler, 91, of Gettysburg, passed away, Monday, April 30, 2012 at the Gettysburg Memorial Hospital.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Gettysburg with Pastor Daniel Tews officiating. Burial followed in the Gettysburg Cemetery with military honors. Visitation was held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, May 4, 2012 with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service at the church.
Alvin Arthur Buechler was born August 3, 1920 to John B. and Mary (Eisenbiesz) Buechler in Bowdle, SD. He graduated from Bowdle High School in 1938.
Doc served in the US Navy from 1942-1946, serving in the Pacific.
In August 1947, he married Alita Guthmiller of Roscoe. They made their home in Gettysburg where they raised their three children.
Doc attended the University of South Dakota for two years in pre-dentistry and in 1951 he graduated from University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. In July of that same year he opened his dental practice in Gettysburg, serving patients from the surrounding area until his retirement in 1997. Together, Doc and his son, Dr. Steve operated a satellite practice in Onida from 1979-1997. Doc was very active in the dentistry profession; he was a life member of the American Dental Association and South Dakota Dental Association serving as president in 1967. He also belonged to Les Curtis Study Club, International College of Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard Academy, ADA Commission on Relief, ADA delegate, and was a past member of the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of South Dakota.
He was also very active in community activities. He was a life member of Ralph Leui Post #135 and served as Post commander, Past District 10 Commander, and Americanism Officer. He was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, serving on the church council for many years. He was active in Rotary, VFW, Chamber of Commerce, Gettysburg Country Club, Past Scout Master Troop 69, Chairman Gettysburg Centennial Celebration 1983, Mayor of Gettysburg, Gettysburg Board of Education for 16 years, State Library Commission and a member of Gettysburg Memorial Hospital Board and Oahe Manor Nursing Home Board.
Awards and Honors included South Dakota Hall of Fame, Silver Beaver Award from Boy Scouts of America, Gettysburg Jaycees Boss of the Year 1966, Outstanding School Board Member of South Dakota in 1973, Citizen of the Year 1981, Honored Guest South Dakota Dental Association in 1984, and American Legion Award for his contribution to the High School Oratory Contest.
Doc is survived by his wife Alita, Gettysburg; his children: Sue (Neil) VanBockel, Bloomington, MN, Dr. Steve Buechler, Gettysburg, SD, and Dr. Lynn (Mark) Utecht, Virginia Beach, VA; grandchildren: Courtney (Dustin) Anderson, Ryan Van Bockel, Seth (Maria) Utecht and Maggie Utecht; one brother, Roland (Bonnie) Buechler, Belle Vista, AK and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Doc’s arrangements.