Our “Southern Belle” and a dear friend to all passed away peacefully on July 1, 2023, while enjoying the native land of the Buehler’s in Bern, Switzerland. While on holiday, she unexpectedly suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and succumbed to her ailments the following day.
Martha Annette Buehler was born in Baytown, Texas on July 26, 1947, to Howard Edward Brunson and Laura Annette Morrison. She and her older brothers, Hugh and Joe Brunson grew up in a home full of laughter, love, southern food, aunts, uncles, cousins, and hospitality. She and her brothers worked at their father’s Brunson Movie Theater, which was the biggest attraction in town. In the 1950s, movie stars promoted their films in theaters. Subsequently, the stars were invited to dine at the Brunson home, which is maybe where Martha gained her love for sparkly jewelry—and the bigger the better! She also gained from her mother, Laura, the ability to set an elegant table and fill it with friends and delicious food.
When Martha was a toddler, her parents joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and soon became leaders in their ward and stake. As Martha matured, she also embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ and attended early morning seminary. Martha graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1965 where she was a member of the choir, “Southern Belles.” After graduating from high school, she attended LDS Business College and Institute classes at the University of Utah. Shortly thereafter, she was sitting in a class when a tall, dark, and handsome Robert Buehler made a beeline to sit next to her! The two became inseparable and were married in the Salt Lake Temple on December 6, 1968. They have lovingly sat by each other for the past 55 years.
After the couple’s marriage, Bob’s employment brought them to Connecticut, Texas, Minnesota, and ultimately to Bountiful, Utah, where Martha lived 44 years of her life. Despite living so many years in the west, Martha always kept her beautiful southern accent and southern grace.
Her time was spent as a loving mother to Elizabeth (born in 1970), Benjamin (born in 1972), and Jared, (born in 1976). Her children were the joy of her life! She volunteered in their schools, read to them, helped them with homework, taught them manners, laughed with them, cried with them, and taught them to love the Savior.
She loved to entertain, decorate, kept an impeccable home, and pulled out her fine china for large and small events. Her guests were made to feel like royalty! She made every holiday special—especially Christmas where family and friends were invited to participate in her annual “Christmas Nativity.” Even though the intended spiritual event was inevitably interrupted by unruly shepherds and corrupt wise men, all present felt of her warm light and ability to unite family.
Martha, who was lovingly named “Nana Martha” by neighbor Henry Hawks, was the proud grandmother to Catherine, her husband, Kyle Miller, Matthew, his fiancé, Amanda Wilson, Maddox, Jackson, Lucy, and Joshua Buehler. She made life magical for them. Orange chicken, chocolate milk, and little dishes filled with candy were staples. It is not every nana who has an entertainment pit in their basement full of toys, books, a playhouse, and a rocking horse! She loved attending her grandchildren’s sporting events, musicals, recitals, and sacrament meeting talks. Not only were her own grandchildren welcomed to her home, but children in the ward. She had a special primary class she began teaching when the members were only 5 or 6 years old. She taught the group of girls for years and when she was released from her calling, the girls missed her so much, they asked if they could have annual “tea parties” at her home indefinitely. Of course, Martha said, “YES!” and the reunions lasted until the girls were well into their college years and moved away. But she soon gained a new following in Sophia Leal, Henry Hawks, and Jordan Woffinden.
Martha was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints her entire life. She served in Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society Presidency’s and magnified every calling she had. Each day she woke up with the desire to be the Savior’s hands and help someone in need. With Bob as her driver, she delivered countless meals, birthday presents, and handwritten notes. In 2001, she and Bob served a full-time mission to Palmyra, New York where they taught large groups of visitors about church historical sites, and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She also volunteered for years as a guide at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Conference Center. Martha was an effective teacher, mostly because her life perfectly reflected the gospel message. She loved sitting in her office where she poured over the scriptures for hours. She attended the temple frequently and loved researching her family and doing their temple work. She testified often of small and large miracles she was a recipient of.
The last 10 years of Martha’s life, she suffered from severe neuropathy and other challenging health conditions. Yet, she never complained, and her positive sunshine lifted and sustained all around her. Especially, to her sweetheart, Bob. She was deeply loved by Bob who described her as a true lady and a beautiful person. She sparkled.
Martha is survived by her husband, Robert Buehler of Bountiful, Utah; her daughter, Elizabeth (Rob) Sorensen of Kailua, Hawaii, her son Benjamin Buehler of South Jordan, Utah, and son Jared (Erica) Buehler of Draper, Utah. She is also survived by her beautiful grandchildren, Catherine and Kyle Miller, Matthew Sorensen and fiancé Amanda Wilson, Maddox, Jackson, Lucy and Joshua Buehler. Preceding her in death were her parents, Howard and Laura Brunson and siblings Richard Hugh and Joe Brunson.
A visitation will be held Friday, July 7th, 2023, 6:00 -7:30 p.m. at the North Canyon Stake Center, 965 Oakwood Drive, Bountiful, Utah 84010. Funeral services will be Saturday, July 8th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the North Canyon Stake Center. Just prior to the funeral, a visitation will be held at the church from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Interment: Bountiful City Cemetery in Bountiful, Utah.
Services will be streamed live on ZOOM: http://zoom.us/j/92154239002