Donald Buhler, Ph.D.

Donald Buhler, Ph.D.

Oct. 11, 1925 — Sept 10, 2014

Professor Donald Raymond Buhler of Corvallis passed away Sept. 10, 2014. He was 88 years old.

He was born in 1925 in San Francisco, California, to Elsa Marie and Aloysius Dooley Buhler. He attended school in San Francisco, California; Ritzville, Washington; and Portland, where he graduated from Franklin High School in June 1944.

In 1944, after a summer working at Willamette Iron and Steel Company constructing aircraft carriers, he joined the U.S. Navy. He was trained as an electronics technician and subsequently served on an attack troop transport that saw action in the Pacific, including the invasion of Okinawa and the occupation of Japan. He was discharged from the Navy on April 17, 1946.

In September 1946, Don entered Vanport College to major in electrical engineering, but he enjoyed a required chemistry course so much that he switched to chemistry as his major. He continued in Vanport College until the flood on May 31, 1948, which temporarily shut down that college. In September 1948 he entered Oregon State College, where he majored in chemistry, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in that discipline in June 1950.

While going to college, Don belonged to the U.S. Naval Reserve, and he spent several summers on active duty at the U.S. Naval Reserve Armory at Swan Island in Portland. On Aug. 14, 1950, during the Korean War, Don was called back to active duty in the Navy and served for 13 months, stationed on Adak and Kodiak islands in the Aleutian Islands. He was again discharged from the Navy on Oct. 6, 1951.

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Don resumed his education at Oregon State College in the fall of 1951, receiving a Master of Science degree in organic chemistry in June 1953 and a doctorate in biochemistry in June 1956. After postdoctoral training at Oregon Health Sciences University, and a research position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Willard, Washington, he joined the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a researcher in August 1959.

He returned to the Pacific Northwest in December 1964 to become the Pesticide Project Leader at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Western Fish Nutrition Laboratory in Willard, and in March 1966, Don became a Senior Research Scientist in the Biology Division at Battelle-Northwest in Richland, Washington.

In December 1967 he joined Oregon State University’s newly formed Environmental Health Sciences Center and the Department of Agricultural Chemistry as an Associate Professor. In 1974 he became a Professor and was the first Chairman of OSU’s graduate Toxicology Program from 1983 to 1994. When the Department of Agricultural Chemistry became the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology in 1998, Don continued to serve as a Professor until his retirement in 2004.

On Dec. 22, 1952, Don married Margaret Gertrude Thomas. Together they had three sons and one daughter. Don remarried on Dec. 18, 1976, to Jun-Lan Wang.

He is survived by his loving wife, Jun-Lan Wang Buhler; his sons, Donald E. Buhler of Aloha, Thomas H. Buhler of Springfield and Gary A. Buhler of Corvallis; and daughter Susan E. Trudell of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Sarah J. Buhler of Corvallis, Timothy R. Buhler of Olympia, Washington, and Steven E. Buhler of Aloha.

A funeral service will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at McHenry Funeral Home in Corvallis. The casket will be open for one hour prior to the service. A graveside service with military honors by the U.S. Navy and Oregon Military Honor Guard will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Please leave your thoughts and memories for the family at www.mchenryfuneralhome.com.

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