Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Elizabeth Ann Bateman Buehler

1928-2008

Devoted to nursing but family was first

BRANDON — Even as a girl, Elizabeth Ann Bateman Buehler was determined to have a career as a registered nurse. She studied so hard in college that she didn't have time for dating.

That's why she went to her graduation dance with a complete stranger. That stranger went on to become her husband of 57 years.

Mrs. Buehler died May 22 at age 80. She had suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder for about a year and a half.

She had a successful career as a nurse, as she had always wanted. Locally, she served as director of nursing at the Home Association in Tampa and later at the Williams Road Cluster Home for the Developmentally Disabled.

She never stopped studying, always taking courses to get new nursing certifications. She worked until she was in her 70s, long after her husband had retired.

"It was her way of keeping active, staying involved in life," said her husband, Vic Buehler. "She wasn't the kind who would go over to the neighbor's and sit and have coffee. She thought there were more important things in life."

But as devoted as she was to nursing, it took a backseat to her role as a wife and a mother to her seven children. When her kids were young, she'd work the graveyard shift so she could sleep during the day and wake up when the kids got home from school.

"She was a wonderful mom, very loving," said her son, Frank. "Her priority was that we all get an education, that we do something with our lives. All seven of us have at least one college degree, and that was my mother's influence. She and my father had to scrimp and save but they wanted to make sure they had enough money to send us to college."

She grew up in Mexico, N.Y., and graduated from Crouse-Irving Nursing School in nearby Syracuse in 1949.

Vic Buehler lived close by in Utica, and a friend asked him if he'd like to go on a double blind date at the college.

"I said, 'Sure, why not,' " Buehler said. "I made deal with my friend that I would drive and pay for gas and I'd give him $10 so the girls wouldn't know he didn't have any money. In exchange, I'd get my pick of the girls.

He knew immediately which girl to pick.

"I saw her and I thought, 'Look at the tomato! Don't tell me she doesn't have a boyfriend,' " Buehler said. "But she didn't have one. She was always studying so she never went out."

The two were virtually inseparable from that moment. Their first date lasted until 4 a.m., and Buehler had to be at work at 7.

"I didn't go home," he said. "I slept in my car with my feet sticking out the window. Then I went to work and that evening I went back to Syracuse to take her to dinner."

They married the next year and moved to Brandon in 1978 to escape the Northern winters.

She continued nursing work until about eight years ago. Toward the end, she was working on a contract basis for the state, traveling to nursing homes around west-central Florida making sure patients were receiving proper care.

She only had one bad habit worth mentioning, her husband said, and that may have led to her death.

"Unfortunately," he said, "she just didn't stop smoking early enough."

Besides her husband, Mrs. Buehler is survived by her children, Janet, April, Victor Jr., Frank, Jane, Gretchen and Beth; two brothers, two sisters and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Marty Clear can be reached at mclear@tampabay.rr.com.

Devoted to nursing but family was first 06/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 10:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.