Orville D. Bucher, a Whitehouse-area farmer who was a leader in preserving local history, died Tuesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 94.
He had congestive heart failure, his daughter Kathleen said.
Mr. Bucher, a graduate of the former Whitehouse High School, took over duties on the family’s Eber Road farm in 1936.
“He started farming with horses,” his daughter said. He stayed home and raised food during World War II. Despite shortages of many other items, tractors were available, and he bought his first, a Farmall.
During his childhood the farm supplied food to the large family. Later, he grew wheat, corn, and soybeans to sell and had a breeding black Angus herd and later, a flock of sheep.
“He loved being outdoors,” said daughter Nancy Bucher, a horticulturist. “Farmers ... solve a lot of problems.”
He hitched a wagon to tractors for family reunions, and children looked forward to “Uncle Orv’s hayrides,” daughter Kathleen said.
The Bucher property became a century farm in 2009; a great-grandfather settled on Rupp in the mid-19th century. He loved the family’s history in the area, sister Nancy said.
He became one of the first members of the Whitehouse Historical Society, which began after an 1840s-vintage log house was discovered during demolition of other buildings. The log house was moved, restored, and opened for tours. He helped to seal the gaps between logs and fend off deterioration.
“It has been preserved, and it was all through the Buchers’ diligence,” said Louise Stedman, a longtime historical society activist.
Mr. Bucher retired in 1986 after 26 years at Johns Manville Corp. He was a former grandmaster of the Wakeman Lodge, F&AM. He was a 4-H leader in the 1940s and 1950s and again in the 1980s.
He was born Nov. 6, 1918, to Clara and Herbert Bucher.
Surviving are his wife, Mary Bucher, whom he married March 6, 1948; daughters, Kathleen Dollman, Nancy Bucher, Patsy Watkins, and Margie Black; son, Edward Bucher; sister, Lillian Engler; eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Friday in the Peinert-Dunn Funeral Home, Whitehouse. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Hope United Methodist Church, Whitehouse, where he was a member.
The family suggests tributes to the Whitehouse Historical Society, the church, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.