William "Bill" Earl Buesking

  • Born: December 23, 1933
  • Died: July 25, 2020
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212

Tel. (210) 227-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

William "Bill" Earl Buesking went home to be with his Lord on July 25, 2020. Bill was 86 years, 7 months, and 2 days old when he went home. Bill was born on December 23, 1933 in Strasburg, Shelby County, Illinois to Merle "Doc" Edward Buesking and Celia Clara Ida Ruff Buesking.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Dean Eugene Buesking. He is survived by his wife, Ella Mae Hancock Buesking; his sister, June Buesking Hutchcraft; his brother, George Buesking; his three children and their spouses, Valerie Elizabeth Buesking Gray Honeycutt, David William Buesking, and Darren Michael Buesking; his stepchildren and their spouses, John Henry Hancock, Christopher Alan Hancock, and Michael Everett Hancock; grandchildren/step-grandchildren, Michelle Buesking, Sharon Buesking, Destiny Buesking DeArmitt, Bobby Kenneth Gray; Hannah Hancock, Noah Hancock, Lauren Hancock, Joshua Hancock, Adam Honeycutt, Mark Honeycutt, Laurrel Buesking Lose, Cody Moore, Zachary Moore, and Joshua Moore; 4 great-grandchildren, Ethan DeArmitt, McKenna DeArmitt, Grayson Lose, and Lyanna Lose; other extended family, and many friends.

In celebration of Bill's life, here is a look back. Bill lived his life in Strasburg, Illinois until the age of 18. During that time, he was baptized on January 16, 1934 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Strasburg, Illinois and confirmed at the age of 13 on March 30, 1947 at St. Paul's. Bill would be a lifelong Lutheran and was a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas at the time of his passing. Bill graduated Strasburg High School in the spring of 1951 and the following year left Strasburg for a much wider world. His son Darren tells us that Bill was a hunter and fisherman as a young man. Many times, these activities were what put food on the table for his family. Bill would continue his love of hunting over the years and was known for making excellent jerky from deer and other wild meat. His love of being outdoors also meant quite a few camping and "outdoors" memories for his children as they were growing up. At the age of 18, Bill entered the Air Force in a student program and officially began his Air Force career. When it came time for Bill to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force, he had to resign from the student program to join the real Air Force. This resulted in Bill having two separate DD214s. His career in the Air Force is a story unto its own. Bill was a fighter pilot, bomber pilot, a Caribou C-7A pilot (Vietnam), an Astronaut candidate (Gemini program), and a pilot instructor. As a pilot in Vietnam, Bill earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He survived two plane crashes, one on takeoff and one on landing, and wrote a poem about the fiery takeoff crash. The poem is entitled "The Breath of God." When he retired from the Air Force after 20 years, Bill was a Major with a Masters' degree in Electrical Engineering. His full military honors are shown below. Following his military career, he obtained a Master of Business Administration and passed the CPA exam. He taught accounting at UTSA for a period of time, was the Financial Officer for the Boy Scouts of America (San Antonio), and then worked as a civil servant on "Security Hill" at Kelly AFB until he retired for a 2nd time.

Following his last retirement, Bill didn't slow down. On April 16, 2002, God blessed Bill with his wife Ella Mae Hancock Buesking whom he married in St. Thomas, V.I. in Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church. This church was established in 1666 and continues to hold services today. Bill and Mae enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii, and frequently found themselves on the road, in the air, or on the water.

Still on the go, Bill joined a couple of organizations tied to his service-related activities. These were the River Rats Ralph Parr Pack and the Caribou C-7A Association. As the Treasurer for the Caribou C-7A Association he was recognized as being instrumental in helping to grow their membership.

Bill was a great person to know. He loved people and had a great sense of humor. great sense of humor. Always learning, he picked up a few magic tricks and when asked, as any good magician, he would never reveal his secrets.

Bill will be missed but we know that we shall see him again.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Concordia Lutheran Church, 16801 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX 78258. Please note that strict social distancing and masks will be required for all attending the service. The celebration of life will be live-streamed for extended family and friends. A recorded version will also be available online following the service by request. You can watch the service online by going to Concordia.cc and clicking "Watch Online." The service will be followed by interment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in a private ceremony for family only.

In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask that you consider making a donation to Concordia Lutheran Church San Antonio.

Honors, Accomplishments, and Facts

Who was Bill Buesking?
• Child of God
• Husband
• Father
• Brother
• Grandfather
• Great Grandfather
• Warrior
• Vietnam Veteran
• Air Force Veteran
• USAF Major
• Electrical Engineer
• Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
• Master of Business Administration (MBA)
• Pilot Instructor

Military History
• 1952 – Joined the USAF Student Pilot Program
• 1952 to 1972 – USAF
• 1954 – Commissioned as 2nd Lt, Williams AFB, AZ
• 1955 – 1958 – 77th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 20th Fighter bomber Wing – Fighter Pilot -/Wethersfield RAF Station – England
• 1966 – Major – 8-26-1966
• 1966 – Instructor Pilot
• 1970 – 1971 – Vietnam – C -7A Caribou Pilot

Planes (in order)
• T-6
• T-28
• T-33
• F-84E (Fighter Bomber - England)
• F-84F (Fighter Bomber – England)
• F-100D (Fighter Bomber – England and U.S)
• C-47 (Gooney Bird)
• T-39
• T-38
• C-7A Caribou (Vietnam)

Military Honors
• National Defense Service Medal
• Distinguished Flying Cross Medal
• Air Medal (1st – 4th Oak Cluster)
• Air Force Longevity Service Award
• Air Force Reserve Medal
• Armed Forces Reserve Medal
• Vietnam Service Medal
• Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
• Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
• Air Force Overseas Ribbon
• USAF Special Operations Group Patch
• USAF Pacific Air Force Patch

• 1959 – ETA Kappa Nu Association, honorary Electrical Engineering Society
• Pi Kappa Alpha
• 1959 – Married Judy Martin on 12-19-59
• 1960 – B.S. Electrical Engineering (BSEE) – Oklahoma State University – 8-6-1960 (AF Institute of Technology)
• 1963 – Applied/Qualified for Gemini Astronaut Training Program – Not accepted
• 1964 – M.S. Electrical Engineering (MSEE) – Syracuse University Graduate School – June 7, 1964
• 1976 – MBA – University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) – 5-15-71
• 1977 – CPA
• 1977 to 1978 – Accounting Professor
• 1981 to 1984 – Financial Officer – Boy Scouts of America
• 1984 to 1999 – Civil Service – Air Force Intelligence Service
• 2002 – Married Mae Hancock 4-16-02
• Caribou C-7A Organization – Treasurer
• River Rats Ralph Parr Pack – Member


Condolence & Memory Journal


Thinking of you and your family, Our deepest condolences.

Posted by Dorothy Ramos - 439 Terra Cotta, TX - Family Friend   August 13, 2020

I worked will Mr Buesking on Security Hill. I'm happy to read that he had a full life after his life with DoD. Rest In Peace dear friendyou earned it.

Posted by Celeste Carrola - San Antonio, TX - Coworker   August 11, 2020

Bill, I worked with Bill as a fellow EE in my years in Security Hill. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Reynlado Trevino - TX - Coworker   August 09, 2020

My deepest condolences, wild Bill filled our Friday nights at the club with funny and entertaining stories, he will be greatly missed.

Posted by Maria Knight - Cibolo, TX - Friend   August 09, 2020

Our condolences at Bill's passing. We enjoyed him and our time together.

Posted by Phil & Jo Hall    August 09, 2020

My deepest sympathy on Bill's passing. I remember him fondly from family gatherings in Strasburg.

Posted by Judy Terhune Shore (cousin) - TN - Family   August 08, 2020

My condolences at Bill's passing. Though my cousin, we called him uncle.

Posted by Michael Buesking - Springfield, MO - Family   August 08, 2020

Family Album

Family Album