Madge Sparks Strong Buehler, 87, of Punta Gorda, Fla., passed from this earth peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at Charlotte Regional Medical Center under Tidewell Hospice Care.
She was born Oct. 3, 1926, in Winston Salem, N.C., to Thomas Armstrong and Ila Mae Nelson Sparks. Madge earned her bachelor’s degree from Berea College and later received a master’s in education from Eastern Michigan University.
She was married for 27 years to the Rev. Charles Walter Strong Jr., who pastored First Christian Church in Greensboro, N.C., and Central Christian Church in Flint, Mich. He was also the founding pastor of First Christian Church in Walnut Cove, N.C., where she will be interred.
The Rev Strong passed away in 1973. She was married in 1990 to longtime family friend Mr. Dell Buehler, until his passing in 1996.
Madge had a great love of children, and a deep faith and loving service to her church, First Christian Church of Venice. Any who knew her would say she was the pure definition of kindness.
She devoted over 30 years to teaching young children, mostly kindergartners. Prior to moving to Flushing, Mich., and teaching for 24 years, she had taught in North Carolina and Ohio. In 1990, Madge retired from Seymour Elementary School. The day of her retirement she was honored by sailing away in a hot-air balloon while all the children and fellow staff bade her farewell.
Ms. Buehler is survived by her older sister, Eloise Howard of South Carolina; children Charles (Carolyn) Strong III, Rebecca (Wesley) McLeod, Daniel (Dee) Strong, William (Karen) Buehler and Sue Buehler (Rollo) Garrison; and grandchildren Angela (Denise Miles) Kontoulas, Aimee (Chris) Sharp, Katherine (Paul) Baboulis, Stephen (Kristine) Canter, Michelle (Wayne) Ball, David (Lisa) Canter, Devan (Richard) McBee, Roy (Kim) Buehler and Mary Johnson; and was “G.G.” to many wonderful and loving great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Services: A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, at First Christian Church of Venice, 1100 Center Road, Venice, Fla. A northern Memorial Service will be held at a later date at First Christian Church of Walnut Cove, N.C. Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements. To leave the family condolences and to sign the online guestbook, visit: Kays-Ponger.com.
Contributions: Memorial donations may be made to First Christian Church of Venice, Building Fund, 1100 Center Road, Venice FL 34292; Berea College, CPO 2216, Berea KY 40404; or Tidewell Hospice at: Tidewell.org.