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Charles Raymond “Chuck” Buterbaugh, of Hillsdale, died peacefully on Thursday April 2, 2015, at home with his family. Chuck would have been 92 on his next birthday. He was born and raised in Hillsdale, the oldest son of Ray Chapman and Zemma Jane (Conner) Buterbaugh. He was educated in the Hillsdale 2-room school, and graduated from Montgomery Township High School in Arcadia with the class of 1941.Chuck worked from a young age in the various businesses of his family. His grandfather, C.A. Conner, had seven farms, and Chuck tended to all the chores of farming from the late 1920’s onward. He worked at Conner Chevrolet in Hillsdale, assisting and learning from his uncles, Boyd Kerr, Clarence Conner, and Frank Trimble, in all aspects of the vehicle trade. Conner’s would take almost anything in trade for an auto, and Chuck’s favorite was a gold pocket watch and a morphadite calf, traded for a 1926 model with side curtains.Chuck often came out of the schoolhouse at the end of a class day to find a truck loaded with horses, parked at the curb of what is now Rt. 286, with a handwritten note on the seat, “deliver to . . . .” While in school, Chuck clerked for Jake Sterner at the Clover Farm Store in Hillsdale, pumping gas and keeping accounts. He also worked with his father in the Hillsdale Threshing Company, traveling the circuit to area farms, first with the Frick steam engine and water cart, and later with tractors. One of his earliest memories was of riding with his dad to Belleville with a load of Belgians, and staying overnight with the Peachey family. A journey of 100 miles with livestock was a two-day trip at that time. After high school, Chuck went to work as a carpenter in Pittsburgh, and was hired on his 18th birthday to work at Union Switch & Signal. He was drafted into WWII in 1944, entering the European Theatre by way of LeHavre, France. Assigned to the 1967th Labor Supervision Company, he drove heavy equipment, transported prisoners of war, and served as mess sergeant just before his honorable discharge in 1946, from Frankfurt, Germany. Back home in Hillsdale, Chuck went into the timber business with a sawmill set up in East Run, on his Nanny Buterbaugh’s farm. He started a 40-year career driving school bus, under contract first with Joe Peles, then Kuntz’s, and later on the Purchase Line Jointure. In 1951, he purchased the William Thompson place in Hillsdale, already a century farm, and lived there for the next 40 years. Chuck loved farming and working with animals in the wide open spaces. He sold his farm in 1991 to Amish-Mennonite bishop Daniel Beiler. Church services and school days were held in the garage Chuck had built, until the Hillsdale Mennonite Congregation was established in the old Methodist Church. Chuck was involved in the gas well Industry, during the late 1970’s and early 80’s. He developed well sites for Bob Head and Art Buterbaugh, and one of his jobs involved deconstruction of the old railroad turntable at Flemming Summit. He helped build Purchase Line High School, and later the South Elementary, on the site of one of his grandfather’s former farms. He worked with Walter “Sparky” Giles on various projects for A.R. Wanchisn, including the substation on his farm, and plowing township and state roads in winter. Chuck attended Young Farmers, the Purchase Line group, in the late 1950’s, directed by Joe Moore. He was a member of Operating Engineers Local #66, AFSCME #2247, and of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees. In Retirement, Chuck enjoyed going to livestock auctions, steam engine shows, and tinkering with his collection of Bolens tractors. He loved having pie and ice cream at the Chestquehanna, and talking with a new generation of farmers. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents Luther and Nancy Waltermire Buterbaugh, and Charles and Ella Jane Proctor Conner; brothers Robert Alan, William Bernon, and Ray Lee “Jr.” Buterbaugh; sisters Betty June Zinza and Eleanor Trudell Smith; daughter-in law Sherwyn “Becky” Tyger Giles Buterbaugh; nephew Lee Buterbaugh and an infant grandson; and by his first wife, Frances Armstrong Buterbaugh.
He is survived by his wife and companion of 23 years, Shanda Tyger Buterbaugh; his children Don, Bill, Carol and Mary; nine grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; many in-laws, nieces and nephews, and beloved little black dog Sassy. Chuck believed that war is uncivilized and unGodly. He carried the sights, sounds and smells of WWII with him to his last earthly day. A memorial service in honor of Chuck’s life will be held on Saturday April 11, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the Purchase Line United Methodist Church. Pastor Robert Sunseri Officiating assisted by Bro. Issac Tyger. A fellowship dinner will follow. In lieu of flowers, Chuck asks that you plant some hemlock or red pine trees; go to the Chestquehanna in Mahaffey for pie and ice cream, and take someone with you; donate some old blankets and a big bag of dog or cat food to the Humane society; pay attention to veterans of any era; and always keep the faith, as it is a beautiful world God has given us. Chuck will be laid to rest in the family plot, up on the hill in East Mahoning Cemetery at Purchase Line. Arrangements in care of the Easly-Hindman Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., “Exclusive Provider of Veterans and Family Memorial Care.” Condolences may be made at HindmanFuneralHomes.com
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William T. Hindman III