Alfred Buehler was born in New York City – the Upper West Side of Manhattan, to be precise – of parents who emigrated from Germany in the early 1920s.
Al’s family moved to Ridgewood, Queens, NY when he was a toddler. Al attended New York City public schools, and after graduating from Grover Cleveland High School, he married fellow GCHS alum Anne Louise Beck; the couple started their family soon after.
After graduation, Al spent 15 years in the rapidly-growing travel and airfreight industry at Trans World Airlines. Active in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union (IAMAW), Al was a maverick, quick to understand issues and to point out how tasks and systems could be improved. Throughout his time there, Al made full use of TWA’s generous travel benefits and took his family on trips across America and to Europe whenever possible.
While still at TWA and with a growing family, Al started his college studies at St. John’s University. He majored in biology and hoped to work in veterinary medicine.
After an auto accident in 1969, Al changed careers and joined the Fire Department of New York City. While with the FDNY, Al took advantage of a training opportunity and enrolled in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes. Al excelled in this environment; he received his EMT certification and finished his coursework at St. John’s with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Al then enrolled in the Hunter College–Bellevue School of Nursing program.
After years of balancing family life, work, and his studies at Bellevue, Al earned his second degree – a B.S. in Nursing. He immediately began part-time work at Bellevue, but the heavy demands on his time led him to shift gears and instead do occasional work as a veterinary assistant.
Al retired from the Fire Department of New York in 1995 after 25 years of service. While waiting for Anne to finish her career at the NYC Board of Education, the couple began construction on their retirement home in Lords Valley, Pennsylvania. Their weekend trips to oversee the building effort turned into a household move in 1997.
The "Palace in the Poconos" was a home, a library, and a launching pad for Al and Anne’s journeys. Both Al and Anne loved books and reading, with Al’s focus centered on the American Civil War and World War II; he also had a deep interest in the Colorado River, and especially the Grand Canyon.
For many years, Al made an annual pilgrimage to the Canyon. He hiked fully across it in both directions, and made several raft journeys down the Colorado following the paths of early Canyon explorers. These trips complemented his and Anne’s other travel, which included several visits to his parents’ German homeland along with stays in Mexico, Scotland, Canada, and a cruise through the Panama Canal. Al and Anne were in Normandy, France during 9/11, and they were always grateful for the kindness and generosity of the local French who keep their deep kinship with the liberating Americans of 1944.
When not traveling, Al continued his community service. He and Anne joined the Lake Wallenpaupack German-American Club, where Al served as a club vice-president for seven years. He and Anne were also active as Friends of the Pike County Library, where Al was a vice-president for two years and always supported the Library’s annual book sales and fundraising efforts.
Al suffered a hemorrhagic stroke while on a trip to Washington, DC in 2009, and was confined to a wheelchair after that. He remained as active as possible, but his time focused more on Anne and his three children. Al’s health declined suddenly, and surrounded by his family, he took the final step of his life’s journey on February 28, 2013.
Al’s easy acceptance of others created lifelong friendships. Always willing to help, his skills found appreciation from people needing a household repair, managing a volunteer event, or planning travel to any of Al’s favorite places. He thoroughly enjoyed his life, seeking experiences that challenged him and friends who supported his unique approach to the opportunities around him. His path touched many, and he will be deeply missed.
In his last days, the staffs at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital and especially at the Hospice Community Care Facility at 100 William Street, Dunmore, PA 18510 were helpful and kind to Al, Anne, and his family.
Al is survived by his wife, Anne Buehler of Lord’s Valley, PA, his daughter, Maggie Buehler of New York, NY, his son, Steven Buehler of Belmont, CA, his daughter, Diana Mischler of Glendale, NY, and his brother, Richard Buehler of Bowie, MD.
Al requested no funeral or memorial service, but please consider a donation in his name to support the Hospice, the Pike County Humane Society, your local library, access to education, or national parks.
For further information, directions or to leave a memorial remembrance (candle) visit www.TeetersFuneralChapel.com.
Arrangements by Teeters' Funeral Chapel, 505 Church St., Hawley, PA 18428.