Jack Buysse

June 26, 1933 - September 11, 2015
Davison, MI



Thursday, September 17, 2015
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Hansen Funeral Home
421 N Main St
Davison, MI 48423
Web Site


Thursday, September 17, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Hansen Funeral Home
421 N Main
Davison, MI 48423
Web Site


Friday, September 18, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Hansen Funeral Home
421 N Main Street
Davison, MI 48423
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Charles N. Skellenger American Legion Post #267
PO Box 111
Davison, MI 48423


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Rayola Florist
919 N State Road
Davison, MI 48423
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With unending love for family, Jack Buysse created a timeless legacy to be treasured. His greatest joy was found in those he loved while making precious memories along the way. A caring and generous man, Jack was a proud Veteran and worked hard to support the family entrusted to his care. Whether family, community or others, Jack’s loyalty knew no bounds. It was a gift to know and love Jack, and for these things and so much more, he will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

While the nation struggled through the worst year of the Great Depression, the year 1933 saw an unprecedented U.S. jobless rate of over 15 million. At the same time, great strides were being made in the culture of America. FDR held his first “Fireside Chat” to boost the spirits of Americans while entertainment served as a deviation from everyday worries. Despite the changes in the world around them, Carl and Magibel (Bricker) Buysse of Lapeer, Michigan found exceptional joy when they lovingly adopted their young son, Albert Jack Buysse who was born on June 26, 1933 in Flint, Michigan.

Raised an only child, Jack was a well-loved boy who spent his childhood at Lake Nepessing with his family enjoying all the area had to offer. Since his earliest years, Jack enjoyed the outdoors where he learned to hunt, fish, and even learned to drive on the frozen lake. He especially loved swimming in the lake, even with a bathing suit at times! Jack enjoyed a childhood typical of his generation. Like many young boys, Jack found his share of mischief. He attended Lapeer schools where he added much. On his first day of kindergarten, Jack drew a picture of a duck and a wine bottle, and while in elementary school, he and his friends attempted, unsuccessfully, to smoke pencil shavings. Jack was involved with a band of boys who flew a paper airplane across the classroom with a lit firecracker which made for much excitement. With shenanigans like these, Jack decided school wasn't for him, yet throughout Jack’s life he remained well versed and was intelligent in many respects. He later encouraged his children in their educations. They not only graduated from high school, but they each went on to receive college educations.

At the age of 17, Jack enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War after his mother affirmed to his recruiter he was of age to join. For a time he was stationed in Germany. Although Jack never really spoke of his military involvement, he claimed his job was to ration the toilet paper, thus possibly creating the original answer to, “Can you spare a square?” A proud Veteran, Jack was a very patriotic man and continued to serve in many capacities in the years that followed.

Life turned in an exciting new direction for Jack when he met the young woman who came to hold his heart. He met Janice Beebe while attending the wedding of a friend who was also marrying Janice’s brother. After a fun-filled evening enjoying the festivities together, Jack and Janice exchanged telephone numbers and before long they began dating. Jack was the first to introduce Janice to pizza and together they enjoyed pizza and the story behind it for years to come. Deeply in love, on June 9, 1956, shortly before Jack’s 23rd birthday, the young couple eloped to Angola, Indiana. After a memorable honeymoon in Port Huron, they began their new lives together in an apartment at 329 North Main Street in Davison, MI where for more than 50 years they made their home.

It wasn’t long after when Jack and Janice began a family with the births of their five children, Rocco, Tony, Carol, Jill, and Joe. To support his thriving household, Jack was a hard working railroad man with a strong work ethic. He lived the railroad, and could talk railroad for hours. Even as he worked long hours, Jack was a good family man. For 44 years and 6 days, Jack worked for Grand Trunk Railroad. He worked as a switchman, never turned down the opportunity for overtime, and for many years he had perfect attendance. Later he became the supervisor of hazardous materials and developed a training car he took out on the Grand Trunk lines to train local fire departments procedures in the event of a hazardous accident.

As a father, Jack was loving, caring, supportive and his pride was evident. When his children were young, Jack often took the kids to the Davison community swimming pool in the evenings. Great times were shared during these times which always included a lot of rough housing. Fun times were also had tobogganing in the winter at their favorite spot at the Lapeer Golf Course. Needless to say, it was quite a sight to see Jack and all the kids packed on the toboggan sledding downhill at great speeds.

The holidays were another special time in the Buysse household where cherished times were shared and created. Times were lean, but Jack and Janice made sure Christmas was extra special for the kids. The presents were always hidden from sight until each of the children went to bed on Christmas Eve, and this tradition continued well into his children’s adulthood. For the most part, Jack and Janice saved all year to make Christmastime so special for them. It was a family affair to decorate the Christmas tree each year complete with homemade ornaments, ornaments from Jack’s childhood, and ornaments the children had given to them through the years, although removing the lead tinsel from the tree was a painstaking task year after year.

Storytelling was second nature to Jack and he never shied away from being the punch line. Sometimes he would spin a yarn he’d carry on for years before anyone learned the truth. "I remember when…" was a nightly introduction to whatever story he was going to tell at the dinner table. The importance of spending time as a family was monumental to Jack. He had a very strict rule about everyone being home for dinner by five o’clock every night with no exception. As they gathered around their crowded table, it was a time to talk about the day, share stories, tease each other, and sometimes even get into trouble. Some of Jack’s children have carried on this tradition with their own families who have come to appreciate how important these times are.

Another special time for Jack and his family was attending the Beebe family reunion in August every year. Even as an “in-law”, Jack was an integral part of the Beebe family, even after his beloved Janice’s death. On the way home, Jack treated his family to McDonald’s, one of the few times they were able to enjoy going out for dinner. Jack delighted in being with family. When he was 75, some of his family took him whitewater rafting on the Lower New River in West Virginia and Jack’s grin was so large he looked like the Cheshire cat that ate the canary. On Labor Day weekend that same year, his son, Rocco and his wife took Jack on the annual Mackinac Bridge walk. He waited ten minutes at the end for Rocco and Robin to finish, and then wanted to do it again!

A patriotic man, Jack was proud of having served in the U.S. Army and considered it a privilege to be a member of the American Legion Post #256. With adoration he served as a member of their honor guard and for many years he was honored to be the flag holder in the Davison parades. Very active with his post, Jack gave of his time and talents as a volunteer. He helped on the upkeep of the hall and participated in their many events. For many years Jack placed flags on the graves of Veterans for Memorial Day which was something he was extremely proud to do. He also assisted Veterans in obtaining benefits by helping them with paperwork and gladly driving them around when they needed a ride.

Once grandchildren came into Jack’s life he had the opportunity to make up for lost time. He loved doing things for his family, especially taking them to the American Legion’s cabin in northern Michigan for a lakeside vacation. He took an active role in the lives of his children and each time one of them got married, Jack always expressed his sentiment, "There ought to be a law that no one can get married before 30!"

Jack was a longtime supporter of hunting and fishing and was delighted when he was invited by his son-in-law Bob to go on a hunt. He even gave Jill and Bob their first beagle. He was an avid MSU, Detroit Red Wings, Tigers, and Lions fan, too. When it came to TV, he enjoyed programs about nature, home improvement, gardening and The Sopranos. He loved The Godfather movies and his Marlon Brando impression will always bring smiles of remembrance. He also read Steve Martin's "Cruel Shoes" to family and friends, changing his voice to fit the characters which was always a hoot. While he enjoyed everything Janice cooked, Jack was especially fond of soups, stews, and pickled bologna. He was an avid reader of magazines and the newspaper, and he always enjoyed talking railroad with his son, Rocco.

Jack was a staunch Davison Cardinal football fan and was a fixture at Friday night games even when his sons were no longer in school. Ever proud of his community, he loved living in Davison and liked seeing the locals do well. Known for his giving spirit and involvement with the American Legion, Jack’s integrity was second to none. He was adamant about being prompt, and always believed if someone was on time, they were late! Jack was impeccable about his surroundings, appearance, and was a very sharp dresser. He took good care of himself and remained quite active well into his later years.

As Jack’s dementia advanced, Janice took on the task in 2010 of purchasing their first home. As her own health declined and when Jack required more care, they eventually moved in 2012 to the Heritage Community of Kalamazoo. Janice found assurance knowing Jack thrived being a part of the communities there where he enjoyed many outings and activities before she sadly passed away later that year.

One of Jack’s greatest legacies will be his loyalty to his country, family and the town of Davison. Whether to a panhandler on the streets of Chicago or to a charity soliciting funds, Jack was generous to the core. The importance of family and encouraging them along the way was one of his greatest attributes as a father. His caring demeanor supported them in their aspirations and his genuine concern for a sick grandchild was a mere example of Jack’s unbridled love. He led by example, and for those who knew Jack best, he will be dearly missed and remembered for all he gave and more.

Jack Buysse, a longtime resident of Davison, died on Friday, September 11, 2015 at the age of 82. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, September 18, 2015 at the Hansen Funeral Home Groves Chapel-Downtown Davison and the burial will be in the Great Lakes National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 pm on Thursday at the funeral home.

Members of Jack’s family include his five children: Rocco (Robin) Buysse of Eaton Rapids; Tony (Michele) Buysse of Ramsey, NJ; Carol (Bruce) Bassett of Grayslake, IL; Jill (Bob) Wilhelm of Berlin Heights, OH; and Joe (Jenny) Buysse of Portage. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren: Megan, Jennifer, Eric, Tyler, Grace, Hayley, Ethan, Nate, Danielle, Adam and Emily-Jo.

Please visit Jack's personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read more about his life, share a favorite memory or photo and sign his guest book prior to coming to the funeral home. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Charles N. Skellenger American Legion Post #267.