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Ralph T. Buettner

Ralph T. Buettner, 78, of Waterloo, IL, died December 11, 2020, in Red Bud, IL. He was born October 1, 1942, near Burksville, IL at the family farm.

He is survived by his children Debra (Daniel) Row, Vickie Buettner, Keith Buettner, and Lisa (Gerald) Koerkenmeier; grandsons Dustin Row, Samuel (Omar) Row, Lucas (Kristina) Row, Shawnn Row, and Zachary (Hillary) Buettner; great grandchildren Charlie, Eva, Brock, DeniRaye, Chase, and  baby Buettner due in May;  extended family Jaime (Jason) Becker and their sons Connor, Griffen, and Jackson, Scott and Danielle Koerkenmeier and their children Brileigh, Bryce, Bennett; sister-in-law Betty (Robert) Holste; sister-in-law Iris Buettner; nieces, nephews; cousins; and special friend Iris Munsell.

Ralph is preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years Karen M. Buettner nee Prange on June 21, 2019; parents Victor and Magdalena (nee Straub) Buettner Sr.; brothers Victor Buettner Jr., Roger (Shirley) Buettner, and Paul Buettner in infancy.

Ralph was an electrician all his life.  He and his wife owned their former business Design Electric in Columbia. He was a 57 year member of IBEW #309. He was also known for his love of nature. He belonged to the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District and was awarded Conservationist of the Year in 2008. He was a charter member and former board director  of Clifftop.  In 2012, he was awarded Outstanding Volunteer of the Year by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In the same year, he was awarded the Illinois Conservationist of the Year Award in Springfield, lL.

            He was a devoted father, grandfather and great grandfather as well.  Ralph was a member  of
Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wartburg.

As an expression of sympathy the family prefers memorial contributions to: 
Songs 4 Soldiers, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, or Clifftop

Private Graveside Services will be held at a later date at Holy Cross Lutheran Cemetery in Wartburg, IL

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Buettner, please visit our flower store.


To the family of Ralph,
Please accept my deepest sympathies. I was heartbroken to hear of Ralph's passing. He was always so kind and had a smile for everyone he met. I will miss our visits, where he would proudly tell me what all the grandkids were up to. He was a caring and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be greatly missed. Please know that your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy Reifschneider

Kathy Reifschneider Dec 21 2020 12:00 AM

I am so sad at learning of Ralph's death. To his family, please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.

Ralph was such an impressive man; his knowledge of and commitment to land conservation was awe-inspiring. I had the privilege of getting to know him when we drove to and from New Athens together to attend conservation meetings.

Ralph did not just 'talk the talk.' He transformed his own farm into an ecological wonderland and the result was nothing less than remarkable. He was always generous in sharing his extensive knowledge and experience with others, including non-profit land conservation organizations as well as assisting hands-on with land stewardship efforts.

Modest and kind by nature, his passion and commitment to conservation were unparalleled. Thank you, Ralph. You did your part. Rest In Peace.

Rita Diehl Dec 15 2020 12:00 AM

Deepest sympathies to all of you! Ralph was a great guy and a true conservationist. Enjoyed working with him over the years on his CRP ground at the farm and our conversations here at the Monroe County FSA Office.

Lisa Schwarze Dec 14 2020 12:00 AM

I only met Ralph in the last week of his life. I was the physical therapist working with him during his hospital stay. In the short time I knew him we had wonderful conversations about where he lived, his family, my family, my 2 girls, and even local restaurants we had both been to many times and still enjoy. He took such an interest in my personal life in such a short time which tells me what kind of man he was and how important family was to him. I had the privilege of showing him pictures of my family during my treatment times with him, and he was so happy to see my children just because we had spent time talking about them. My sympathies to Ralph's family. In the very short time I knew him, he made a lasting impression on me.

Sarah Heine Dec 14 2020 12:00 AM

Where do I even begin!!! Oh Ralph. I met Ralph when I was doing a summer college class where we came over to valmeyer Illinois to help the members of Cliff top do some habitat restoration work. At the dinner Ralph introduced himself to me and we just started talking about deer hunting and fishing and swapping photos of deer weve gotten. We exchanged numbers so I could use him for a reference for future conservation jobs. He would call me every year since then on my birthday and wed just talk for hours. He became family!!! Ralph, you will be so so missed. I cant even begin to explain how much you meant to me. Rest in pease good friend.

Mandie Kiszczak Dec 13 2020 12:00 AM

We are sending our sincere sympathy in the loss of Ralph. Marvin and Ralph had some interesting times growing up so there are a lot of pleasant memories. May God bless you with peace and comfort in the days to come.

Marvin and Carolyn Henry Dec 13 2020 12:00 AM