Donny Lee Buzzard of Lebanon, Oregon, passed away on January 10, 2021, just two days shy of his 69th birthday. His family had hoped he could make it to the 12th because his birthday was his favorite day of the year. He would often claim to be having a birthday at random points throughout the year in the hopes of getting a cake (this ploy had about a 25% success rate).
Donny was born January 12, 1952 in Jay, Oklahoma to William and Marie (Toolate) Buzzard. He joined his siblings Mary, Grover, Junie, Ray and Eddie. His younger siblings Archie, Stella, Becky and Bobby soon followed. He was blessed with a large family and stayed close even after moving 2000 miles away. Donny was a proud tribal member of the Cherokee Nation that was always looking for an opportunity to speak his native language.
He graduated from Jay High School in 1970 and married his beautiful bride, Melba. Donny served in the United States Army for five years, during which he was stationed around the world. He brought his young family to Germany to join him for his last tour. Upon returning to the states, Donny set out on his own Oregon Trail to “prepare a nest” for his wife and three daughters. He quickly found a job at Bauman Sawmill outside Lebanon, Orton, relocated his family out to their new home.
Donny worked at Bauman for 32 years, where, in the land of nicknames, he called “Chief.” After retiring from Bauman, he worked at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon, where he was affectionately referred to as “Uncle” by many students.
Donny’s life was full of love and laughter. He made friends everywhere he went. He was a joker and a storyteller and would share his stories with anyone willing to listen. Above all, Donny loved his family (which was not just defined by blood). He made sure they knew this by texting them “good morning,” along with a weather report, every day. During his retirement, Donny started making flutes and whistles. Donny gave more flutes and whistles to his friends and family tan they knew what to do with. It made him happy.
Donny enjoyed spending time outside. He loved camping with his friends, hiking and hunting. He especially enjoyed going on long walks with his wiener dog, Festus. Donny was also a traveler and thought nothing of driving two hours (or more) to visit someone for lunch. There was just so much to see, and he wanted to experience it all.
Donny is survived by his wife of 50 years, Melba; their three daughters Angie Lindsay, Kamichia Walls (Kevin), and Gina Buzzard; and their three granddaughters Kelly Walls, Natalie Lindsay and Mika Lindsay.
Memorial services will be 1 p.m., Friday, April 16, 2021 at Round Springs Cemetery in Eucha. Services are under the direction of Worley Luginbuel Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.honoringmemories.com or on the Worley Luginbuel Facebook page.