Rhod Buser, long-time resident of Ponca City, passed away peacefully on June 10th, 2019, at his home with his loving family by his side. He was 82.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m, Thursday, June 13th, 2019 at The Trout Funeral Home and Crematory, 505 West Grand Avenue with the chaplain Justin Pickup officiating. He will be laid to rest privately at Resthaven Memorial Park. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home and Crematory.
Rhod was born on July 4, 1936, the son of the late Curtis Henry Buser and the late Mildred Gaie Young, in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He graduated from Ponca City High School in 1955. He served in the U.S. Army from February 1955 to August 1955. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from August 1955 to February 1963. While in the Air Force he was a member of their cliff diving team and was a fearless diver.
He was stationed at Thule Air Base in Greenland, and while on leave to Canada, he met Edna Marie Callahan. After a brief courtship they were married on October 2, 1955. The first of four daughters was born in Canada. Later that year Rhod was transferred to Whiteman AFB in Warrensburg, MO. Their second daughter was born in Sedalia, MO, and the third and fourth daughters were born in Kansas City, MO.
Rhod became a machinist during his time in the military and was recognized by the Air Force on numerous occasions for his outstanding ability. Upon his discharge, he immediately began work as a machinist holding down two jobs to provide for his family.
The family returned to Rhod’s childhood community of Ponca City in 1964. He worked as a machinist at Mertz Brothers for 10 years. He then became a partner with T&R Machine Company and then General Manager of Modern Investment Casting Company until his retirement in 1992.
With the blessing of having four daughters, came the blessing of teaching his girls to play fastpitch softball beginning at a very young age. At this time, he also started teaching two of his daughters to become windmill pitchers. Their first games were played at Kids Inc, where he was very instrumental in revitalizing that ballpark. He spent many hours at Kids Inc. coaching games as well as hauling dirt, painting, building concessions, etc. All of Rhod’s spare time was spent at the ballpark. Every weekend for six months out of the year was spent at softball tournaments coaching his pride and joy team the Purple Panthers.
Once his daughters had completed their high school and college carriers, he began teaching fastpitch softball lessons to girls of all ages. Rhod held clinics at various locations such as Wichita, Ark City, Winfield, Wellington, South Haven, Newkirk, Tonkawa, Blackwell, and Ponca City. He continued to do this until two years ago when health prevented him from continuing with his pitching clinics. He had numerous pitchers that played level 1 and 2 college softball and spent many hours traveling from town to town to watch his students play high school and college ball. His face would light up with such joy and enthusiasm every time one of his past students would stop by to visit or gave him a call. He touched many lives with his love of the sport and had many “adopted daughters” as a result of it.
Rhod was inducted into the Oklahoma ASA Softball Hall of Fame in 1990. He was also an avid fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and The Oklahoma City Thunder. Please feel free to wear your OU attire to his service to honor our dad.
Another one of Rhod’s favorite hobbies was sculpting bronze figures. He had several training sessions with Ponca City artist Jo Saylors. He made many sculptures and bronze cast them himself. He also cast many of Jo Saylors bronzes. One of his best sculptures was a head sculpture of Jesus, which is displayed in the Sacred Arts Museum on the ground of The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Family members cherishing Rhod’s memory are four daughters, Joey Bradford and husband, Brent of Jenks, Theresa Clay and husband, Marscellus of Oklahoma City, Kelly Conrady and husband, Keith of Ponca City, and Laurie Tapp and husband, Kevin of Ponca City. Eight grandchildren, Taryn Seddelmeyer and husband, Matt of Jenks, Steven Clay and Kirstie Guerrero and husband Juan, of Oklahoma City, and Randyl Holmes and Bryer Holmes of Edmond, Dalton Tapp and Dustin Tapp of Stillwater, and Alissa Tapp of Winfield, KS. Two great-grandchildren, Maryn Seddelmeyer of Jenks, and Maliyah Guerrero of Oklahoma City, and one brother, Vic Buser of Woodville, OH. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Edna Buser, his son-in-law Tim Holmes, and one brother, Gary Buser.
The family would like to share their sincere appreciation for the outstanding care, compassion and love from Hospice of North Central Oklahoma. Also, a special heartfelt recognition to Wynette Lee, of Hospice, for the extra special attention she gave our father. It was above and beyond expectations, and she did everything with a smile and very loving nature. We would also like to thank Tara Goldman, a past pitcher whom he loved very much, who selflessly helped to provide love and care for him in his final days and his long- time friend Dale White for the many hours spent visiting and remembering old times.
The family will be at his home, 28 Spring Village. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 445 Fairview, Ponca City, OK 74601.