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Obituary, Maurice Buness, 93


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Maurice Buness

Maurice Buness, 93, died August 23, 2014 in Wrangell Medical Center Long Term Care.

Buness was born May 24, 1921 in Powers Lake, N. D. to Magna and Bjarne Buness.

He grew up in the Dustbowl of the 30s, helping to raise his younger siblings, Gordon, Ole, Bea and Bev after losing both parents by the age of 16. He was employed as a pipefitter in the Seattle shipyards until he enlisted and served as a combat engineer with the Sixth Army. While serving in the Philippines, he was selected and completed training for the Alamo Scouts, which are recognized as the first branch of the U.S. Special Forces. He received the Asiatic Service Medal, Bronze Star, Victory Medal, and a Purple Heart, after being buried in a landslide.

After his discharge, he attended the University of Washington where he graduated suma cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business administration. During this time he married Mary Webster of Colorado and started a family. The couple moved to Wrangell in 1952 with brothers Gordon and Ole where the brothers started the Buness Brothers store.

A devout Baptist, Buness was instrumental in the building of the Bible Baptist Church in Wrangell. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and was a founding member of the Stikine Sportsmen's Association as well as the Wrangell Salmon Derby. In 1964 he moved to Tacoma to work for a firearms importing company. Missing Alaska, the family returned in 1970, driving off the ferry Taku with his wife and eight children in a 10-passenger station wagon.

Buness was active in the community and local politics, serving as councilman and vice-mayor for many years. With his cousin Everett Buness, he started an insurance and real estate business, which the family operated until 1982. Following that, he ventured into logging, and then sporting goods and hardware sales, a business he maintained into his 80s.

Following the death of Mary in 1994, he rekindled a youthful relationship with Thelma Weed, and the two married a few years later. The couple resided in Tacoma until Thelma died in 2000. Buness was married to Mamie Daly of Wasilla until 2003 when he moved back to Wrangell.

He was preceded in death by his brothers Ellsworth and Gordon Buness; sister Beatrice Lindsey and son Sam Buness.

He is survived by brother Ole (Connie) Buness of Wrangell and sister Beverly Lindberg of Minnesota; sons Mike (Kelly) Buness, Scott (Kristi) Buness and Steve Buness of Wrangell and Mark (Rhonda) Buness of Juneau; daughters Ann (Vern) Phillips, Kay (Jeff) Jabusch and Marie Davidson of Wrangell, nineteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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