Joseph “Joe” Benson Buhrman II, 94, died Saturday, August 17, 2019, at The Glebe in Daleville.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Graham McClung Buhrman Sr., and Ellen Norwood Price Buhrman; his brothers Graham McClung Buhrman Jr., Robert Parker Buhrman, Charles Nettleton Buhrman, and John Price “Jack” Buhrman; lifelong friend, Christina “Chris” Marshall.
Mourning his loss are nieces Cheryl Ann Buhrman and Cynthia Dawn Ladegast; great-nephews Benjamin Lyon Wilson and Nicholas Buhrman Wilson, and their families; a host of cousins; close friends, Deirdre “Deedy” and Wes Runyon and Sandra Krsul; the members of Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church, the community of Eagle Rock, and his many friends and associates.
Born in Botetourt County in 1924, Joe grew up on historic Buhrman Farm (also known as Valley View Farm) in Eagle Rock, graduating from Eagle Rock High School in 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 11, 1946, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, before being honorably discharged on May 14, 1947.
Ask Joe what he did for a living and he would always respond, “I’m a farmer!” He lived almost his entire life in the family home, located on the Buhrman Farm just north of Eagle Rock. Built by the grandfather for whom he was named, Joseph Benson Buhrman I, he was the third generation of his family to occupy the house and grounds and the fourth generation to farm the property. However, as a young man, he traveled to Chicago for training in electronics and telecommunications, bringing that expertise back to work in the Roanoke Valley area.
An avid collector of many historic genre, Joe especially valued his collection of antique automobiles and his association with others equally passionate about “old cars” in the Antique Auto Club. He also enjoyed traveling, especially cruising with dear friends, visiting ports around the world and strolling the manicured paths of international botanical gardens.
A charter member of the Botetourt County Historical Society and Museum, Joe continued his involvement in preserving county history for more than 50 years as an active member of the Board of Directors. He also supported the local community through over five decades of membership in the Eagle Rock Ruritan Club and highly valued his association with the work of the Botetourt County Farm Bureau.
A lifetime member of Galatia Presbyterian Church, he served as Clerk of Session for 40 years. The church honored him as “Elder Emeritus” in tribute to his lengthy and faithful service to the church and its ministries. He served on the church cemetery committee, served as Trustee of the church, and was the Sunday School treasurer.
A philanthropist, Joe felt strongly about passing forward his collections to individuals and institutions that would preserve them. He contributed to the good works of his community, including contributions to scholarships, and he passionately advocated for historic research and preservation in Botetourt County.
Joe wished to extend his thanks to the superb staff at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and at The Glebe for their compassionate care over the past year. He also held in high esteem the personal commitment and excellent support given to him by his home assistant, Samantha Sheppard.
A Celebration of Life for Joe Buhrman will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 21, at Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Gala, Pastor Emeritus Robert McRae officiating, with Transitional Pastor the Rev. Karyn Cartier assisting, along with the Rev. W. Pembroke Hall, Joe’s long-time friend. Family and friends are invited to attend the Celebration of Life Service at Galatia Presbyterian Church. The family will gather for the burial preceding the service at 10 a.m. in Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery. Bethel Church was founded by Joe’s great-grandfather, Abraham Buhrman. Graveside military rites will be presented by Curtis A. Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1033 of Covington. Bethel Church and cemetery are located on Locust Bottom Road, Glen Wilton. The family received friends on Tuesday from 6 until 8 p.m. at Galatia Presbyterian Church.
Memorials may be directed to Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 78 Gala Loop Road, Eagle Rock, 24085.
Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge is handling arrangements. To send condolences to the family online, visit www.nicelyfuneralhome.com.