Community mourns loss; remembers larger than life personality
As the sun sets on the Buller farm east of Peabody on a typical muggy May day, an unknowing passer-by might believe it was another typical day.
But while cows have been fed and fields have been checked, anyone familiar with the Buller family knows something, someone important, is missing.
The rhythmic sound of a worn out basketball hitting gravel as Brent Buller shot hoops has been stilled, to be heard no more after his sudden death May 7.
Buller entered the world a little over 21 years ago and was born with several health issues. He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease shortly after birth and underwent surgery at only two weeks old. His parents weren’t sure they’d ever get to take him out of hospital doors and home to the farm, but he defied odds and not only left the hospital, but left a legacy in Peabody that many will fondly remember.
As those affected by Buller’s death gathered in the Peabody Methodist Church basement Tuesday after his services, there was a common theme among those there to celebrate his life.
As several of his classmates huddled around a table, laughter quickly filled the air as they reminisced over the many laughs he brought to Peabody-Burns throughout the school years.
Buller played basketball for the Warriors, oftentimes sinking three-pointers, and was manager of the football team.
“He was more of a coach than anything,” said Clayton Philpott, Buller’s cousin, classmate, and co-worker. “When we’d come into the huddle he’d tell us all, ‘You guys need to get it together, you’re better than this.”’
Buller was driven by what he believed to be right and wrong, with no gray areas in between, according to those close to him.
“One of the best is a story they brought up during the service,” classmate Kaden Gibson said. “He thought he was fouled during a basketball game, and when the ref didn’t call it he picked up the ball and asked him, ‘Hey, I got fouled! Are you going to call that?’”
Gibson said you could always count on Buller and his larger than life-personality.
“He was always there,” he said.
Buller recently began working for the city of Peabody, assisting with mowing. Mayor Larry Larsen initiated a moment of silence out of respect at Monday’s city council meeting.
“You didn’t dare touch his mower,” said Philpott with a smirk.
Buller had a passion for helping his dad Dale around the farm. The two shared a tight-knit relationship, Brent oftentimes serving as his dad’s shadow. Where one went, the other generally was in tow.
One of the officiating pastors for the service, Angela DeFisher, reminded those who may be stifled by grief, that Brent held an immense amount of faith.
“His family would find him kneeling by his bed, or kneeling in a window praying,” she said. “He always had to be the one who said grace.”
DeFisher said that Brent found a way to inject his unique sense of humor in any situation, even in prayer before meal.
“As the family told me, once when he was saying grace he paused and looked up,” she said. “When they all looked at him he shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘I got nothing.”’
Last modified May 17, 2018