Born March 18, 1927 in Alton, Illinois
Died January 14, 2022 in Winter Garden, Florida
Morris Milton Buzan (“Milt”), 94, a resident of Sonata West retirement community in Winter Garden FL, passed into God’s presence during the evening of Friday, January 14, 2022, while in hospice care at Orlando Health Central hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack a week prior.
Milt was born March 18, 1927, the second of four children born to Edwin and Daisy Buzan of Alton, Illinois. He was a dedicated Boy Scout as well as a member of the local chapter of DeMolay, Alton High School band, and thespian society. He began studies at the University of Illinois in 1945 but was interrupted by a call from the draft board in 1946 to serve 18 months in the U.S Army at Camp Stoneman, Calif, where he rose to the rank of technical sergeant responsible for processing soldiers for transport to Japan during the post-war occupation period. After returning to the University of Illinois and earning an electrical engineering degree in 1950, his professional career focused on the design of specialized and high-quality lighting fixtures. He rose to prominent positions of significant responsibility in several firms, including chief design engineer in two St. Louis-based companies and national leadership in the Illuminating Engineering Society, as well as being named in several U.S. patents awarded for lighting technologies.
Milt’s family life was a model of leadership, devotion, self-sacrifice, loving provision, and serving as a role model to his two sons. He married the love of his life, Elinor Crabtree of Greene County, IL, in 1954 after meeting her on a blind date while in college; she would remain his “doll baby” and best friend for life. Milt excelled as a husband and father—teaching his sons the value of hard work, his curiosity of “how things work,” and knowledge to make them work: He was the consummate engineer dad. He instilled uncompromising standards of academic excellence, moral behavior, commitment to church, and faith in God. He grabbed every opportunity to instigate new interests and involve himself in the boys’ activities, becoming a cub scout pack leader, church youth group leader, president of the high school band parent’s club, and senior advisor to the local chapter of DeMolay for boys. His ultimate satisfaction as a father was being able to brag to anyone within earshot that his two sons both graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point—a tribute as much to his influence as to any other factor. Later, he earned star status with his eight granddaughters to whom he relished introducing vanilla malts and root beer floats, pistol shooting, NRA life memberships, and old movies—to name just a few of his favorite things. They loved him dearly for it.
In what spare time he could find after fixing any broken object in sight, Milt found time for a variety of hobbies. At the top of his list was a lifelong passion for collecting and rebuilding historic firearms, particularly U.S. Army M-1 Garand rifles for which he became a self-made expert. A love of fiddling with solder and all things electrical naturally led him to building his own stereo system (he loved music) and later his own computers, and recording to DVD every old movie he could find on the movie channels—in sufficient quantity to share with the family! He also found the time to join the local Masonic Lodge in St. Charles and participate in Lodge activities in the community, and to enjoy fellowship in the senior's group at Grace Church St. Louis for many years.
Milt was a long-time resident of St. Charles, Missouri (1969-2019) before moving to Winter Garden, Florida, to be closer to family. He is survived by his beloved wife of over 67 years, Elinor, his sons Thadd (Joanne) and Craig (Felicia), eight granddaughters, and eight (so far) great-grandchildren.