Willard R. Buller was born in Corn, Oklahoma on Feb. 28, 1943to Joseph Buller and Elsie Reimer. Willard was second of four children. He was raised with two brothers, Homer and Wilbur, and his sister Arlene. While he was young his family moved to Northern California, where he grew up in a farming community. There is where he developed a strong work ethic, family ties and faith that he lived by his entire life. He enjoyed playing in the farmland, working on cars and playing sports in his youth. In high school Will put school on pause and joined the U.S. Army. He proudly served in Korea and Vietnam from 1962 through 1968. His time and exposure in the war left unfortunate lasting effects on his health. Upon returning home, he went back to school and earned his G. E.D. Will then moved to Santa Clara, CA and started a family. He had two daughters, Deanna and Rochelle. Will loved to challenge himself and learn new skills, in doing so he got his barber license but ultimately, he found engineering to be his calling. He was blessed with numerous creative abilities and talents: including carpentry, landscaping, painting and construction skills. He always worked hard to support his loved ones.
He began working for the Southern Pacific Railroad as an engineer. He operated trains between San Fransisco and Salinas for several years. A new opportunity took him to El Paso, TXpulling over one hundred cars with four engines up and down the lower Rocky Mountains. These trips gave Will the opportunity to travel to New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. Those were his most memorable times with Southern Pacific Railroad. Will then took a job in Sacramento, CA where he drove trains for Amtrak between Oakland, Bakersfield and Winnemucca, NV. These trips took Will over the Sierra Nevada mountains where he faced new challenges and dangers. Pulling trains of cars in the snow without breaking the cars apart was a new and difficult engineering experience for Will.
After a long career as a railroad engineer, he retired in Desert Hot Springs, CA. Being the hard worker that he was, he could not stay idle. He became the barber and handyman for his community. He didn’t stop there though. He began serving his church in any way he could. There is where he met the love of his life and wife, Sofia. In conversations he would take any opportunity he could to brag about his “sweet Sofia”. Together they enjoyed traveling, family time, and praising God. Will enjoyed using his skills and talents to improve the home he shared with Sofia. In marrying Sofia, he became a beloved member of her large family and loved them like they were his own.
Will was a great storyteller. His stories were always a joy for friends and family to hear. His years with the railroad left Will with plenty of material. He had many harrowing adventures to share. He also loved talking about how much he loved his family and Jesus. Will’s faith was very strong. He was not shy about hislove and had wonderful times worshipping his Lord. His face would radiate with joy when he spoke of how blessed he was. Even through trying times he never lost hope or trust in his Godand loved spreading the word of God. He prayed that everyone he knew would have a true relationship with Jesus and find the peace only Jesus could provide. He also went on several missionary trips to Mexico that he thoroughly enjoyed.
At the age of 80, Willard R. Buller of Indio, CA. passed away on Jan. 8, 2024 losing his long and well-fought battle with congestive heart disease. He was predeceased by his brother, Homer. He is survived by his wife of 18 years Sofia Buller, his older brother Wilbur, younger sister Arlene, two daughters, Deanna and Rochelle and two grandchildren Demi and Kyle.
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