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Donald (Don) Eugene Buska, age 86, passed away on April 29, 2014. He died at home, just hours after returning from the Big Sky Honor Flight to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Don was a loving husband, father, grandfather and a talented wood turner. He was a wonderful man with a steady heart and a playful spirit. He and his wife, Mary Louise (Moore) Buska, resided in the city of Billings for 30 years, having formerly lived in Laurel and South St. Paul, Minn. Don was born Sept. 28, 1927, in South St. Paul. His parents were Vernon Avitus and Eltha Eleanor (Gill) Buska. He and Mary Lou were married on Nov. 29, 1947, at St. Augustine Church in South St. Paul.
Don graduated from South St. Paul High School in June 1945, and was drafted into the Navy in December 1945, serving as a Seaman First Class on a destroyer escort, the USS William Seiverling, and honorably discharged in August 1946. Don was employed by Cenex (formerly Farmers Union Central Exchange) in South St. Paul and Laurel for 46 years. He also was a very active volunteer in the Laurel community as Scout Leader of Troop 411 in Laurel; District Chairman of the Many Waters District of Boy Scouts of America; and at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Laurel. He led the Troop 411 in several Absarokee Mountain Man Pack Trips, three Charles E. Sommers Canoe Base Trips, and attended two National Boy Scouts of America Jamborees as a leader. He was honored with the Scouting Silver Beaver Award and Catholic Scouters Bronze Pelican Award. He retired from Cenex in 1991. He is also a member of the Yellowstone Woodturners of Billings and has exhibited his work at MontanaFair for several years.
Survivors are his children, James S. Buska and Josephine Feyhl, William A. and Victoria (Rabben) Buska, Thomas J. and Thelma (Canilao) Buska, Jeffrey G. and Rebecca (Haugh) Buska, Donna E. (Buska) and Donovan Schmidt, and Diane A. (Buska) and Mikeal J. Connors. There are 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou; his parents, Vernon A. and Eltha Eleanor Buska; his brother, Richard J. Buska; his mother- and father-in-law, Jewell L. and Mary Allene (Dorsett) Moore; and William A. Moore, his brother-in-law.
Per Don’s wishes, Father Steve Zabrocki will officiate at a private family gravesite ceremony. Interment will be at Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery in Laurel. A social gathering in celebration of his life will be held at St. Anthony Church Parish Hall in Laurel at noon on Monday, May 5.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Rocky Mountain Hospice or the Boy Scouts of America. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com.