Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Elizabeth Ann Bateman Buehler


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

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

  1. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday


    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. 'Rick and Morty' Rickmobile is coming to Tampa next week


    We now have details on when and where Rick and Morty's belching Rickmobile will be when the rolling promo for the cult hit Adult Swim show swings through Tampa on Sept. 27.

    Ricky and Morty fans will head to the Lowry Parcade and Tavern in Tampa on Sept. 27 where a pop-up merch store that will operate out of a Rick Sanchez-shaped truck.
  3. Joe Henderson: Other good works can't balance theft from vulnerable victims


    What price can you put on your good name?

    This renovated group home once was operated by HARC. The group's former CEO Richard Lilliston was credited with raising millions for the agency but has been sentenced to prison for stealing Social Security from clients with developmental disabilities. [Times file]
  4. Clean Bandit postpones Oct. 3 concert at the State Theatre until 2018


    Believe it or not, here's a concert postponement that DOESN'T have anything to do with Hurricane Irma.

    Clean Bandit
  5. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986


    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times