AMerican Veteran 11
Official Obituary of

Steven James Buss

May 26, 1952 ~ March 24, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old

Steven Buss Obituary

Steven James Buss, age 71, of the Town of Center, Wisconsin passed away peacefully on March 24, 2024, guided by his faith and the love of his family.

Steve was born on May 26, 1952 to Jim and Ethel (Managan) Buss in Rantoul, Illinois. Raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, he was a graduate of Appleton East High School. Steve joined the United States Army in February of 1970 during the Vietnam War, serving until his Honorable Discharge in February of 1973. During his military service he was stationed in Vietnam, Indochina and Korea. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), Vietnam Service Medal with One Brown Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Sharp Shooter Badge.

On September 9, 1982, Steve married Denise Wichman in the Town of Center, Wisconsin.

He would go on to build a career in leadership within the food manufacturing and commercial construction industry, and his own consultancy. Always a hard-worker, he reflected often on his appreciation for the adventures, travel, friendships and life that his career had afforded him.

And yet, the fulfillment Steve found in his career accomplishments paled in comparison to the joy and pride he had for his family and endeavors outside of work.

Steve is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Denise Buss. His love for and devotion to her is steadfast and eternal.

Steve will be dearly missed by his three children - Shelly (Mike) Doering, Trina (Keith) Doxtator, and Cory (Ashley) Buss - who adored and encouraged his quick wit, keen sense of humor, and genuine approach to life.

Steve loved, and was loved by his ten grandchildren: Alexa (Alex) Gordon, Carlee, Bryce and Lance Doering; Kyla, Harlowe, Calvin and Maxwell Doxtator; Everett and Stella Buss. And, he was honored to be a great-grandfather to Amelia and Adelyn Gordon.

Steve is also survived by his brothers, Mike and Mark Buss, who were cherished friends and lifelong companions; his mother-in-law, Marion Wichman; sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Ethel Buss, and his father-in-law, Eugene Wichman.

Steve’s adult life was marked with volunteer leadership, with notable commitments including a twelve year tenure on the Freedom Area School District Board of Education (1993-2005) and seven years as an archery leader for Wide Awake Forward 4-H Club.

Steve was an avid outdoorsman, always in anticipation of his next hunting trip. Whether at the Buss Brothers’ Hunting Shack in Tipler, WI; the wooded land around his dream home in the Town of Center; or an elk or moose expedition in Colorado or Canada, his favorite adventures were always those alongside his brothers and son.

Over the years, Steve cultivated friendships that were as meaningful to him as family. He was a storyteller, and a reminiscer. The only thing Steve enjoyed more than having a good time with his people, was reliving it with his people. If we heard a tale one time, we heard it one hundred times. And the truth is, we’d hear it one hundred more. Things we’ll carry with us: his larger-than-life laugh, the way he replied to a witty remark with an even wittier one, his advice (even the stuff we didn’t take), his dance moves and his encouragement.

As a Vietnam Veteran, Steve’s participation in a 2014 Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight, and subsequent camaraderie and brotherhood found through the Freedom VFW Post 7692 and role as an Old Glory Honor Flight veteran chaperone, generated a profound sense of pride, community and resolve. Like many Vietnam Veterans, Steve’s earthly time with us was impacted by his service to our country. Steve, and his family, will be forever grateful to those who helped to honor him, his service, and his sacrifice.

A Christian Funeral Service for Steve will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church (N2740 N. French Road) with Pastor Jim Fleming officiating. Military honors will be performed by Freedom VFW Post 7692. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 2, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Freedom’s Verkuilen – Van Deurzen Funeral Home (N3972 Columbia Ave.) and will continue at the church on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will take place at Appleton Highland Memorial Park.

True to Steve’s desire to be of service to others, his wish is that in lieu of flowers, you’ll consider a donation in his memory to Old Glory Honor Flight of Northeast Wisconsin (, Freedom VFW Post 7692 (, or a nonprofit organization of your choosing. And, thank a veteran.

The family wishes to thank the following talented and compassionate teams and individuals for their exceptional care: the Appleton, Green Bay and Milwaukee VA; St. Elizabeth Hospital’s 4th Floor Fremont team including Dr. Sodhi, Dr. Cherian and Stephanie; and the Compassus Hospice team including Kim, DJ, Ashley, and Creation. We’ll treasure your kindness, forever.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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April 2, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home - Freedom
N3972 Columbia Ave.
Freedom, WI 54130

April 3, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church
N2740 French Road
Appleton, WI 54913

Funeral Service
April 3, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church
N2740 French Road
Appleton, WI 54913


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