Daniel A. Buchberger, beloved husband, father, Papa, Opa, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend, passed away on Sunday, July 10, 2022, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Dan was born on Aug. 3, 1950 in Belvidere, Ill., to parents Earl F. Buchberger and Betty J. (Sowers) Garrison.
After graduating from Alden-Hebron High School in 1969, Dan enlisted in the Navy, attained the rank of HM3, hospital corpsman, and served until being honorably discharged in 1973.
In 2006, he retired as propane bulk manager from the original Country Gas Co. in Crystal Lake, where he had been employed for 32 years. He had been a member of the Northeastern Illinois Propane Gas Association while employed.
He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Richmond.
He loved sports and excelled in baseball, a love that lasted his entire life. As many teammates will attest, he had a wicked, terrifying curve ball. His shining moments would have been pitching a no-hitter in teener league and watching the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series. He was a Cubs fan his entire life, in good times and bad. He coached not only Little Guys Baseball, but also Little Guys Football in Hebron. He enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers and was always quick to rub it in whenever they beat the Chicago Bears.
Dan loved the sprint car races (a love that was instilled by his grandparents) and was a regular spectator (and sometimes pit helper) at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin and attended the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa with family members for many years.
Dan loved his family dearly. He also loved traveling, the outdoors, Civil War history, camping, and hiking. In 2006 after retiring, he and his wife took the “trip of a lifetime” with their camper for a 6-month tour of national parks, Civil War battlegrounds, and Custer State Park in South Dakota. In 2008 they started wintering in Arizona, and Dan loved it.
Dan retired two hiking sticks and two sets of hiking boots. Over the years, he made many camping trips west to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountains with family. Sometimes, there was a caravan of family campers driving west to these beautiful places. He really enjoyed camping with the grandchildren in Custer State Park, Green Lake, Wis., or the local KOA in Union. Always poised to talk about our country’s national parks for anyone who was interested, he would even make up “travel itineraries” for family or friends.
He loved Elvis and anything Elvis. He took many of his family members on pilgrimages to Graceland in Memphis Tenn., and Tupelo, Miss. His love of music included classical, old blues, and oldies from the ’50s through the ’80s but NO DISCO.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Susan (Moss) Buchberger, Sun City, Ariz. (formerly of Woodstock); daughter, Lora A. Vercamen, of Alden, Ill.; son, Ryan T. Buchberger (Vanessa) of Surprise, Ariz. (formerly of Salem, Wis.); stepdaughter, Kristen E. Hardesty (Eric) of Woodstock; sisters, A. Eileen Winchester (Keith) of Wonder Lake, Peggy Lawson of Marshall, Minn., Julie Kiddell of Ringwood, Bonnie Pernat (Brian) of Johnson Creek, Wis., and Sue Borman (Kurt) of Rockford; stepsisters, Kristine Kopsell (Ken) of Woodstock and Kathleen Eremo of Pleasant Valley, Mo.; five grandchildren, Elizabeth A. Vercamen of Denver, Colo., Hannah P. Schroeder of Delores, Colo., Michael A. Kent of Franklin, Wis., Morgan T. Buchberger of Surprise, Ariz., and Rhys W. Hardesty of Woodstock; two great-grandchildren, Elijah Fish and Brantley Kent; three sisters-in-law, Beatrice L. Flood of Wyandotte, Mich., Madelyn G. Roberts of Sun City, Ariz., and Sharon L. Mahan of Phoenix, Ariz; along with uncles, aunts, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Byron G. Sowers and Anna Lucille (Tay) Sowers, and paternal grandparents, Alex Buchberger and Ella (Hornung) Buchberger; his father, Earl F. Buchberger; mother, Betty J. Garrison; stepfather, Eugene N. Garrison; stepmother, Lucinda “Cindy” Buchberger; a brother, Steven L. Buchberger; mother-in-law, Betty J. Moss; and brothers-in-law, James D. Moss, Robert N. Kiddell, Caesar Robles, and Robert B. Mahan Sr.
A memorial service will be officiated by Pastor Andy Tyrell at Grace Lutheran Church, 6000 Broadway St., Richmond, IL 60071, on Oct. 22, 2022, at 11 a.m. with a celebration following in the church all-purpose room.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Daniel’s name to the Yellowstone Forever Institute, P.O. Box 1857, Bozeman, MT 59771-1857; the National Park Foundation, 1500 K St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005; Grace Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 425, Richmond, IL 60071-0425; or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.