Is Buzz her real name or a nickname? What is her real name?”
I’ll never tell. This is one of those mysteries you will have to solve by yourself. And I would encourage you to do so by asking her directly. It will give you an opportunity to get to know this incredible woman.
Born in St. Paul, Buzz attended school there from kindergarten through 4th grade. In 1950, her family moved to Hudson, Wisc., where she continued 5th through 12th grades in the Hudson School District. She attended nursing school at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, which included one year at Macalester College in St. Paul. Buzz earned her nursing degree and spent her life working as a registered nurse in pediatric home care.
Buzz learned how to play the piano from her mother — her first and only piano teacher. She began playing the flute in 5th grade and continued playing through her freshman year in college. While in high school, Buzz began taking organ lessons from the organist at her childhood church. She also learned, quote, “by the seat of my pants!” The rest, they say, is history. …
What happened next is not for the faint of heart. One Sunday morning here at River Hills UMC, the organist overslept. Knowing that a crisis was about to ensue, Buzz climbed onto the organ bench and led the congregation safely through the worship service. Did God receive prayers during that service? Most definitely. However, this was not the last time she played the organ at River Hills. Buzz remembers that “In 1973-74, the organist/choir director was fired immediately following the worship service. I offered to fill in for three months. … Ten years later I retired and began singing with the choir. Loved it!” And that is the story of how Buzz found herself in the alto section of the Chancel Choir.
Which brings me to my next question. What does Buzz enjoy most about singing in the Chancel Choir? “People! I love singing all the music (except “Alleluia”), especially under the direction of J.W. Park. Cathleen’s music is outstanding.” (Author’s note: Buzz did receive payment for that last compliment.) Buzz considers herself an alto, although she can sing most tenor parts, too. Buzz listens to music all the time, including show-time, religious, and country music. Some of Buzz’s favorite songs/hymns include: “Silent Night,” “When Morning Gilds the Skies,” “For All the Saints,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Gaither music, and many others. She also appreciates the music of Bach and Beethoven “in small doses.”
Buzz has served in many different capacities at River Hills, including as a member of the Board of Trustees, a funeral hostess (“loved it”), and as Co-Chair of a clean-up committee after the first flood. In our community, Buzz has volunteered as an election judge for the city and school district, and as a caregiver.
In her free time, Buzz enjoys gardening, sewing, handwork, playing bridge, serving as an election judge, volunteering, and … making faces at Cathleen when she plays wrong notes on the organ!
Buzz’s family includes Marty, her husband of nearly 54 years, who passed away in 2016. Buzz and Marty raised four children together: two twin girls, Sandy and Suzy; and two boys, Tim and Steve.
Last, but not least, Buzz has been blessed with seven grandchildren.
When asked if she has any deep thoughts to share, Buzz replied, “Make the most of the time you have with your family and friends. Time passes quickly!”