Monday, June 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Stella and Bill Buzzell


Here is my grandfather Chester's sister Myra and her son Clyde Learnard and Stella and Bill Buzzell (Bill is Grampy's brother) in the early 1940's in Colby Siding in Woodland, Maine. Myra was visiting from Washington state. You wouldn't be able to replicate this photo with all those fish today!
Uncle Bill and Aunt Stella grew potatoes on the family homestead on Buzzell Hill starting in 1919. An elderly lady stopped by our table at a local restaurant a few years ago to tell me how Bill used to deliver cream to their house which they used three meals a day!
Stella had no children of her own, but was mother to many of her neighbors and relatives. She was hostess for many holiday gatherings and always had the coffee pot on.

We have an old movie film taken about 1958 in their icy yard of Bill pulling my little sister and I on a sled. At one point I'm holding their cat on the sled. At another point my sister falls off the sled and cries.
Another old film shows Bill and Stella on the beach in Florida one winter, probably about 1959. My father was taking the movie. I was probably crawling around in the sand in the middle of the circle of my father's aunts, uncles, parents, and grandmother, all taking a brief respite from the northern Maine snow.
Bill donated land for the construction of the Baptist Church in Colby Siding. Years before his mother Mary had been the one who had asked the minister from nearby Caribou to come start a church in her little town.
At the July 2002 Buzzell reunion at the Colby Baptist Church, the Rev. Otto Palmer told a story about Bill Buzzell during the morning sermon. He said Bill came often to visit at the parsonage across the street from the farm. One time he stood in the picture window and related wishfully that he desired that someday a church would be built there. And it was eventually. Rev. Palmer also told how he and his wife would go up to Bill and Stella’s every Sunday after church for a snack.

Obituary: “William E. Buzzell Caribou, March 6 (1960)-William E. Buzzell, 68, died at a local hospital Sunday after a short illness. He was born in Woodland September 11, 1891, the son of Colby and Mary (Thomas) Buzzell. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Woodland and had been a Sunday School supervisor for 25 years. He was a director of the Aroostook Federation of Farmers of Caribou, and a director of the Colby Cooperative Starch Company of Woodland and Caribou. He was a farmer for over 50 years. He is survived by his wife, four sisters, Mrs. Fannie Jacobs, Presque Isle, Mrs. Sadie Randall, St. Albans, Mrs. Myra Learnard, Allen, Wash., and Mrs. Bessie Todd, Passadumkeag; four brothers, Ralph, Arthur and Earl, all of Caribou, and Chester of Stockholm. Friends may call at the residence at Colby Siding Monday afternoon and evening. Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon [March 8] at 2 o’clock in the First Baptist Church at Colby. The Rev. Otto Palmer will officiate. Burial will be in the Woodland Cemetery in the spring. Bearers will be Alfred Margison, Leonard Thomas, Arthur Todd, Harold Rasmunsen and Richard Hallowell.”