Donald L. (Buzz) Sexton, 83 of Asbury, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Hawkeye Care Center surrounded by his loving family. He battled effects of stroke and dementia for the past 13 years.
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Visitation will be Friday, June 21, 2019, from 9 to 10:45 a.m., with Mass of Christian Burial following at 11:00 a.m. Both held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 1870 St. Ambrose Street.
Buzz was born in Dyersville, Iowa, on February 14, 1936, the fourth of five children of Francis L. and Mabel S. (Seliger) Sexton. His older sister Donna's best attempt at saying "baby" sounded like "Buzz." The name stuck and seemed to match his high energy and outgoing personality.
His love of basketball channeled some of his energy as he proclaimed himself a "Gym Rat." The practice paid off as he excelled on the basketball court for Dyersville Xavier. He scored many points and played with a passion, occasionally fouling out of games. His love of sports also included the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bulls and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
After high school, Buzz worked for Dyersville concrete company that poured the cement for Dyersville's first pool where he became one of Dyersville's first lifeguards.
In 1956, Buzz enlisted in the Air Force. He spent 4 years in California, Wyoming, Texas and England. In 1960 he began working for John Deere Dubuque Works as an electrician. Thirty-two years later, after working many hours of overtime, Buzz began his well-earned retirement.
Buzz married Darlene Childers-Smith, the love of his life, on December 4, 1965, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. They were dancing partners for 53 years.
Boating and water were his passions. Summer vacations were always spent at cabins on lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin with his 4 daughters. Those were the hey days of fun, with sand between your toes, sunburns and bon fires.
Buzz and Darlene continued their love of boating into retirement on the Mississippi and traveling to Wisconsin. They wintered in Texas, where they enjoyed the Gulf of Mexico, along with traveling to Mexico.
His grandchildren meant a lot to him. He could often be seen attending many of their sporting events. He enjoyed grilling meals for his family on weekends and watching videos of their many activities. He was proud of his daughters and his grandchildren's many accomplishments.
In his later years, Buzz often could be heard saying, “I'm a nice guy!” He also won the lottery in the hair department, not only keeping all of it but, keeping a full head of natural dark brown hair.
He never forgot his Dyersville roots. Every summer, Buzz would make his annual trip back for a visit.
Those left to cherish Buzz’s memory are his loving wife, Darlene of Asbury, his daughters Sandy (Tom) Ludescher, Cindy (Mike) Day, Nancy (William) Manning and Bonnie (Craig) Beecher. His grandchildren Lauren, Lindsey and Rob Ludescher, Grant, Brian and Andrew Day, Stefanie (Blake) Rogers and Natalie Manning and Kristin Gross, Brent Beecher and Trisha (Max) Huss. His great grandchildren Eli Gross, Claire, Nora and Baby Rogers due in September. His sisters Bev Fix of Madera, CA and Donna and Ed Harvey of Creston, IA. His brother Thomas Sexton of Dubuque and many nieces and nephews.
Buzz was preceded in death, by his parents, his in-laws F.W. and Rosella Childers, his brother John Sexton, brothers-in-law Leland Fix, Bill Wood, Wray and Earl Childers.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Hospice of Dubuque, American Cancer Society and St. Anthony’s Church.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Hillard Salas, “No Place Like Home” Senior In-Home Care and its special caregivers, along with staff at Finley Hospital, Hawkeye Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque for all the wonderful care they gave to Buzz.