Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Gertrude Buchler

January 20, 1914 - August 28, 2009
Saugatuck, MI



Saturday, September 19, 2009
11:00 AM EDT
Oak Land Memorial Lanes
15200 Lincoln Ave
Dalton, IL 60419
(708) 841-5800

Life Story / Obituary


Gertrude F. (Parks) Buchler was a woman who had a flare for the arts along with a firm commitment to her husband, children and grandchildren. She loved books and poetry, the delights of life that had the power to let her imagination soar. At the same time, she was bonded to home and family, the joys of life that brought the greatest contentment.

Gertrude was the fourth child of Ralph and Virginia (Stephens) Parks, born in Chicago Heights, Illinois on January 20, 1914. It was a time of advancement and struggle around the world. While the moving assembly line increased America’s ability to produce goods, workers united to gain fair labor practices. The United States was advancing as a world power and was soon drawn into WWI, the war that was meant to “end all wars.” The Parks family lived a simple life, some being musically and artistly inclined.

Gertrude’s father mastered the fine art of glass blowing. Gertrude had the gift of playing the piano by ear, she also loved to read and write. As was common in her day, she recited poetry and prose from memory and gained insight and enjoyment from listening to the radio. Interestingly, she was not at all fond of school, but she did graduate from grade 11, an accomplishment not all girls of her generation acquired.

Gertrude started working for her uncle at The Globe Factory, making world globes. She was fortunate to have work during those harsh years of the Great Depression. In those days, one of the least expensive entertainments for teens was roller skating. Gertrude and her friends headed for the roller rink. It was there that she met the man who became her husband, Matthew Michael Buchler.

Gertrude and Matthew were married in Crown Point, Indiana by a Methodist minister on June 15, 1932. The young newlyweds first lived with Grandma Buchler in the lovely village of Riverdale, Illinois, 30 miles south of Chicago. Matt had taken a job at Acme Steel mill, and he worked hard enough all his life so that Gertrude didn’t have to. Rather, she devoted herself to home and family, which eventually included eight children.

The joining of their lives brought together two distinct family traditions and history. Matthew was German Catholic and Gertrude came from a long line of Protestants. She was artistic, always eager to redecorate the house whether rearranging the furniture or painting the interior. He was meticulous, mastering such skills as baking, which he learned from his mother who once owned a bakery. During the holidays, they assumed different roles as Matt assisted in making his wonderful oyster dressing and stuffing the bird. When it came to his baking skills, Gertrude and Matt were in full agreement: his bread was the best. Gertrude’s favorite dessert was pie, let others eat cake.

In time, Gertrude and Matthew moved to Roseland, Illinois, 25 mile south of Chicago. Grandmother Buchler bought a house and the Buchler family rented from her for some 20 years. Gertrude and Matt were contented homebodies, enjoying each other’s company and traveling outward only to visit family. Gertrude was attentive to her children, always making sure their school work was done and done right.

When Gertrude and Matt next moved, it was one village over, in Dolton, to be near their grown children. In fact, they were so close to their kids that, at one point, daughter Joanne and son Douglas lived in homes on either side. Such an arrangement gave Gertrude a great opportunity to enjoy the grandchildren when they came along.

Sadly, in 1976, Gertrude’s beloved Matthew died. She was in her early 60s and had many years ahead of her, yet she felt like she lived the next two years in a fog. Gratefully, she had the love and support of her family. It was so important to her that, when her children moved from Dolton, Gertrude made her way to Saugatuck, Michigan to be near her family there. Even when she eventually moved to a nursing home in nearby Douglas, she was just a few miles from her dear children.

On Friday August 28, 2009, Gertrude died at Grace of Douglas Nursing Home. Over her 95 years of life, she witnessed many remarkable events in history, none more important than seeing her wonderful family grow in love and faithfulness.

Gertrude F. Buchler, of Saugatuck-Douglas, was preceded in death by her husband Matthew Buchler. Her family includes her children: Mrs. David Joanne Pedric, Douglas and Joan Buchler, Elaine Graham, Eileen and James Kupiainen, Jack and Judy Buchler, Susan and William Brassfield, Matthew and Robin Buchler, Brian and Patricia Buchler; 32 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren four great great-grandchildren; sister Leone Cadieux; sisters-in-law Violet Parks and Ruth Buchler; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Cremation has taken place and committal services will be held at Oakland Memory Lanes in Dolton, Illinois at on September 19, 2009 at 11:00 am. Arrangements by The Saugatuck Chapel Dykstra Life Story Funeral Home 520 Lake Street Saugatuck MI. Memorials may be made to Grace of Douglas Nursing Home. Please visit to sign Gertrude’s online registry, share a photo or memory.