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Norman S. Buvick, 1924-2010

Longtime oilman is remembered for his athletic pursuits, his love of life and his contributions to the lives of others

Norman S. Buvick passed away peacefully Jan. 15, 2010, at his home in Pismo Beach.

Norman S. Buvick
Norman S. Buvick

He was born Oct. 15, 1924, in Seattle, the only child of Norwegian immigrant parents Anna Strand and David Buvik. He grew up in Seattle, Alaska, Hollywood and San Pedro during his childhood and high school days.

He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and served four years. Like many servicemen of that era, the G.I. Bill gave him the opportunity to attend college. In 1950, he graduated from the University of Washington, where he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity and Varsity Crew. He was team captain and a four-year varsity letterman on a crew team that won four national titles. He was also a member of the 1948 Olympic rowing team.

He began his work career in retail sales for Union Oil Co. in 1950, and in 1951 he married his college sweetheart, Claire McCarthy. They had five children, and his work at Union Oil over the next 27 years took his family from Washington to Oregon to Southern California.

He joined Masters Swimming in 1970, competed for 20 years and was nationally ranked for his age group.

He began his own business in 1977, when he purchased the Union Oil Bulk Plant in Santa Maria and ran Buvick Petroleum until his retirement in 2000.

He was active in the Santa Maria community, including with the YMCA board of directors, United Way — including chairman of the annual campaign — Santa Maria Rotary, which awarded him the Paul Harris Service award, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Association.

Buvick was outgoing, social and made friends easily in all of his endeavors. He was a loyal friend. He was comfortable being a leader or a team player. He loved life and most valued his family and friends. They appreciated his warm, easy-going nature, generosity and, most of all, his great sense of humor. He excelled athletically and drew much from those lessons. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage, his athletic accomplishments and the contributions he made to the lives of others, but he was most proud of his children.

He is survived by his children, Monica Little (husband Jeff) of Solvang, Marion Schoneberger (husband Bill) of Santa Barbara, Paul of Arroyo Grande and Claire Eischen of Troutdale, Ore.; and grandchildren Michael Little, Andrew, Eric, Brian Schoneberger, Brent Buvick and Kevin and Katherine Eischen. His daughter, Margaret, preceded him in death.

The family is grateful to Drs. Joshua Feuer, Daniel Berger and David Palchak, Hospice Partners of the Central Coast and his caregiver and friend, Susan Fledderman.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17 at St. Mark’s In-the-Valley Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoquio Ave., Los Olivos. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Husky Crew Scholarship Fund. Please send checks, in honor of Norman S. Buvick, to the University of Washington, Husky Athletics Tyee Club, P.O. Box 354070, Seattle 98195.

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