Harold David Buen, 74, passed away at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He and Lila, his wife of 47½ years, were living in Billings, and his family was with him at home to give him love and care as he lost a short battle with a very aggressive and deadly cancer.
A funeral service celebrating Harold's life will be held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Nashua on Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m.
He was born in Glasgow, Mont., on Oct. 6, 1939, to Asle and Anna Buen, immigrants from Norway. He was the youngest of seven children and was preceded in death by his parents and five sisters: Clara (Herman) Siewing of Saco, Thelma (Marvin) Garsjo of Glasgow; Agnes (Hartvik) Garsjo of Nashua, Bernice (Ernest) Kummerfeldt of Mesa, Ariz.; and Vivian (Arnold) Siewing of Saco.
His brother, Arthur Buen, and his wife, Eleanor, are living on the original Buen homestead north of Nashua.
He stayed with Marvin and Thelma (sister) Garsjo across the street from Nashua School for grades 1-3. He lived at the family farm for grades 4-8 at Spring Valley School where his future sister-in-law, Eleanor Biem, was his eighth-grade teacher. He stayed with Hartvik and Agnes (sister) while he attended Nashua High School through his sophomore year.
Basketball coach Larry O'Connor recruited him straight off the school bus his first day of school his freshman year. Harold was well known for his long shot from left court, which would have been a three-pointer today. His parents moved to Nashua and he lived with them to finish high school.
After graduation in 1957, he joined the Navy in August and was honorably discharged in October 1960. He worked with his brothers-in-law as a farm hand for several years after his enlistment ended.
While employed at the Farmers Union Oil Company in Nashua, he met his future wife, Lila Marie Diamond, a student at Nashua High School. They were married on June 25, 1966, and lived in Nashua where he worked at B&B Foods as a butcher.
Two children, Brian and Brenda, were born while they lived in his parents' former home in Nashua. In October of 1971, he was given the opportunity to purchase the original Alfred Garsjo homestead being operated by Marvin and Thelma (sister) Garsjo. The Buens moved to the farm, and two more children, Bridett and Brett, soon joined the family.
He was born to be a farmer, and his wife often remarked that "he had dirt in his veins." He loved the seasons of agriculture, especially the harvest in the fall. He also enjoyed bowling, attending his children's events, watching the Nashua Porcupines' basketball and football games, and golf.
He and Lila moved to Billings in 2004 where she owned several businesses. Every summer he went to north Nashua to do what he loved to do, farm. The rest of the year was spent in Billings with his family, kids and grandkids, and playing golf.
Last summer (2013), he leased the farm to nephew Tyler Thieven, son of his godchild, Lisa Garsjo (Willie) Thievin. He spent the summer at the farm helping Tyler, working with his brother, Arthur, and as we are now aware, selflessly preparing to join his family in heaven. He will be remembered for his wit, his smile, his generosity, his stewardship of the earth, and his love of family.
Survivors include his loving wife, Lila, of Billings; two sons, Brian, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Brett and his wife, Kendra, of Gillette, Wyo.; two daughters, Brenda Buen and John Dahl of Billings and Bridett Visser and her husband, Casey, of Billings; five granddaughters, Alexis, Paige and Brooke Buen (Brett's) of Brockway, Rosalyn and Hayden Visser (Bridett's) of Billings; one brother, Arthur Buen, and his wife, Eleanor, of Nashua; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended families and friends.