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John Thomas Buhl, 61, died May 3, 2018, in Ketchikan.
He was born Aug. 10, 1956, in Seattle.
Mr. Buhl attended Shorecrest High School, Bellevue Community College, Edmonds Community College, Shoreline Community College and Lake Washington Vocational Technical Institute, all in Washington state.
He resided in Seattle, Bellevue, Mount Lake Terrace, Federal Way and N.E. Tacoma, all in Washington state. He was in the process of moving to Ketchikan.
Mr. Buhl was married in 2004.
He was a master mechanic and master machinist. He was proficient in the use of hand, power, mechanic and machine shop tools, in addition to oxygen and acetylene welders, lathe and milling machines, MIG, TIG and arc welders, and hydraulic presses. He operated and repaired forklifts, backhoes, overhead cranes, bobcats, boom trucks, dump trucks, trenchers and personal lifting machines.
He was employed at the Todd Shipyard in Tacoma, Washington, during the 1970s and ‘80s; as a master mechanic at the West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Seattle from 1990 to 2001; and as a wastewater operator and plant maintenence II at the Lakehaven Utility District in Federal Way from 2001-2010.
Mr. Buhl was a member of the North Hill Adventist Church in Edgewood, Washington.
“He was a very giving man,” his family writes. “He was happiest when he was helping others.”
Having a “huge heart of compassion” for the homeless, Mr. Buhl carried lunches in his car to distribute to panhandlers, according to his family.
“Twice a week, he would purchase food and help his wife prepare and distribute hot dinners for 40 homeless,” his family writes, adding that he bought items such as tents, sleeping bags, bikes, clothing, toiletries and other items for the homeless. “They knew John cared deeply for them, and eagerly anticipated the days that John would come. He had a way of making each one feel valued and special.”
During the past seven years, Mr. Buhl underwent 39 surgeries and had multiple complications with his most recent shoulder replacement, according to his family.
“No matter how much he suffered, his heart, mind and body was always ready to bless someone in need,” his family writes.
Mr. Buhl was preceded in death by his parents, Orris and Bonnie Buhl.
He is survived by his wife, Connie (Walters) Buhl; son, Will Buhl; daughters, Jamie Gilliam and Heidi Buhl; grandchildren, Madison Ziejler, and Tyrel and Jaxon Cook; brothers, Cal, Brian and Mike Buhl; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A service was May 25, 2018, at Becks Funeral Home in Edmonds, Washington, officiated by the Rev. Ron Carlson.
Mr. Buhl’s remains were intered at Restlawn Memorial Park in Edmonds.