In 1961, Buz married Helen Langer, who at the time, was working for KING television and was on the Board of Kitsap Bank in Port Orchard, Washington. Never without an activity between the two, it was off to a dance club, or up to the Cascade Mountains to ski with family and friends, or perhaps to get away for a summer camping trip on their boat in the San Juan Islands and Canada. They recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Retirement years offered more time to spend with family and friends while maintaining a passion for the sciences. Buz continued to attend Pacific Coast Surgical conferences and lectures, volunteered and was a board member of the Washington Park Arboretum Botanical Gardens and the Hardy Fern Foundation.
Buz loved sports and was quite the athlete. He grew up playing football, basketball, hockey, baseball, golf and tennis. He took up squash soon after moving to Seattle, working his way up to being an “A” player. Ever the avid athlete, Buz learned to downhill ski as an adult and was a volunteer on the Alpental doctor ski patrol for many years. He was a world traveler, cunning bridge player, ‘shooting his age’ golfer and had three recorded holes in one. He made many lifelong friends at the Seattle Golf Club and the Seattle Tennis Club. He was an ardent UW Husky Football fan, attending innumerable home games with friends and family. Not to be outdone by his children and grandchildren, Buz skied well into his 80’s, hitting the slopes in Utah, Sun Valley, Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest. He travelled to National Parks to meet up with his out-of-state grandchildren, to hike and throw baseballs. Mental fitness was equally as important to Buz as was keeping in good physical condition. He read a wide variety of books, magazines and newspapers. He was a devotee of crossword puzzles, and swore they helped keep his mind sharp. No matter the time of year, one could find Buz sitting outside on his backyard patio with Helen, reading a periodical while finishing lunch, surrounded by the beautiful Japanese-inspired garden he had carefully planned and pruned himself for many years. Buz’s temperament was as varied as his endeavors: He was quick-witted, telling stories or dispensing wisdom with a twinkle in his eye. He was serious as a surgeon, and equally up for fun and adventure, especially when it involved polar plunging in the dead of winter in Lake Washington or watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Buz, is survived by his best friend and wife Helen Langer Smith; his three children, Cydly Smith (Brian Sato), Stephanie Smith and Melinda Pigors (Mike); and, three grandchildren, Hannah Pigors, Michael Pigors and Mari Sato.
A Celebration to honor
Buz’s life will be held at the
Men’s University Club
Monday, November 4th at 1pm.
Memorial donations may be made to: Swedish Medical Center Foundation, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122 http://www.swedishfoundation.org Hardy Fern Foundation, PO Box 3797 Federal Way, WA 98063-3797 https://hardyferns.org/donate/
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 27, 2019