Gene Carson Buzzard, aged 73, passed away on July 21, 2020, surrounded by his loving family at their home in Tulsa. He will be remembered by his family and many friends for his intellect, humor, curiosity, generosity, loyalty, general gusto, and for living his life with joy.
His enthusiastic dance style placed him in high demand as a wedding guest, and his unconventional approach to mechanical matters often yielded surprising results. He loved sailing, baseball, fly fishing, the American West, photography, summertime, birding, cycling, the Blues, the light at dusk, and almost anything that allowed him to be outside or with his family. He ranked J.J. Cale and Buddy Holly as two of his favorite musicians, believed that blue cheese was overrated, and once ran the 10K Tulsa Run without a single day of training. He climbed mountains in Colorado, entertained the Prime Minister of Vanuatu in Papua New Guinea, fished for salmon in Alaska, cheered the St. Louis Cardinals onto victory at the 1982 World Series, successfully argued cases before judges and juries, and slept through several operas. In his adopted second hometown of Pt. Townsend, Washington, Gene provided pro-bono bartending services for the Wooden Boat Festival and performed conservation work with the Jefferson County Land Trust. He was a lifelong student of literature, philosophy, religion, the natural world, and so much more.
Within his full and vibrant life, he loved nothing so much as he loved his wife, Christine. For 51 years, their marriage was always loving, occasionally contentious, and never, ever dull. For each of his three daughters, he offered endless encouragement, wise counsel, questionable dancing tips, and Mutual Admiration Society memberships valid in perpetuity. Gene was a fun-loving, top-notch Poppy to four beloved grandchildren, a steadfast friend to many, a 40-year member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, and a parishioner of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Pt. Townsend. In 1978, along with his friends Keenan Barnard and Jack Powers, he cofounded Iron Gate, a nonprofit organization that provides food to Tulsans in need.
Gene was born to his loving parents, Harry and Dorotha Buzzard on December 2, 1946 in Vandalia, Illinois. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1965 and received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1969. He served the U.S. Army in Vietnam and earned his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1974. Gene practiced corporate litigation for 33 years with Sonberg Waddel, Waddel & Buzzard, Gable Gotwals and Bryant Law Firm. After retiring from law, he taught 8th grade English Literature for five years at Edison Middle School.
Gene is survived by his wife, Christine; daughters, Jessica Buzzard (Los Angeles, CA), Maggie Regan (Tulsa), Christy Buzzard and son-in-law, Yves Almazor (Silver Spring, MD); grandchildren, Aiyana Regan, Phoebe Regan, Alijah Almazor, and Maya Almazor; sister, Jennith Moncrief and her husband, David (Tulsa); brother-in-law, Dale Jacobs and his wife, Betty (Vero Beach, FL); and brother-in-law, Jim Jacobs and his wife, Jackie (Los Angeles, CA). He died from complications related to brain cancer.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Gene's name to Iron Gate (www.irongate.org) or to Jefferson County Land Trust (www.saveland.org). Notes of personal remembrance are appreciated and may be sent to Christine at their home. A private family service has taken place, and a larger celebration of his life may be held when circumstances allow.