Randy Buehrer wears many hats and juggles many responsibilities, but a deep faith in God and the love of his wife keeps him centered and grounded.
Buehrer, 61, runs Buehrer Power Equipment at 24654 State Route 34 just outside of Stryker. He also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, teaches classes for some home-schoolers and is a part-time police officer for the Stryker and Montpelier police departments.
In his spare time, he is taking courses for his police work, serving with his wife Marsha for the county jail as chaplains or heading off to Russia or Central America for a mission trip.
“Everything I am do I am able to do because of God,” Buehrer said his paneled office off the main area of the 61-year-old business, started by his dad, Eldred Buehrer. “If I was to show to my calendar you’d say how do keep up with it.”
Buehrer was born in Wauseon, lived in Archbold and grew up in the Stryker area after the family moved there in 1964. He was working at a factory and a farm when his dad asked him to help out at the store. That was more than 40 years ago, and while he said he could have made better financial decisions along the way, he has stayed with the business to support his dad.
“The business has grown with my dad’s guidance,” Buehrer said. “Teaching us how to treat people right, getting them to come back and giving us referrals.”
The business has increased its product lines over the years and has grown substantially, Buehrer said.
After learning the business and taking it over, Buehrer has looked for new challenges. That includes becoming a police officer at age 53.
“I felt like that was another way of helping the public,” Buehrer said.
Being a police officer has helped assuage guilt he had carried since he was able to walk away from military service in 1973. At the time, he was drafted as a senior in high school, but wanted to make his own decision on where to go.
So he talked to his recruiter and signed a contract stating he would get a shot at the prestigious Ranger school. But the Army wouldn’t take him until he graduated and during the interim, the Vietnam War was cycling down and the Army closed the Ranger school.
“That was when they were pulling everybody out of Vietnam,” Buehrer said.
He then received a letter from the Army they wouldn’t let him in to Ranger school because they were shutting it down for a few years. A talk with his recruiter changed his life’s path.
“He said they broke the contract so you don’t need to go,” Buehrer said.
Since there were still a lot of men in the service, Buehrer chose not to go.
“I’ve always felt guilty about that,” Buehrer said.
To serve his community and his country, he decided at age 53 to join the police force.
Buehrer went through the training and became the oldest person ever to graduate from the Police Academy. He was one of 14 people of 57 who started who finished the course.
“They kept telling me there’s no way you can do it,” Buehrer said. “I graduated at the top of my class.
“I got the third highest score in the state exam”
He received his certification for not only excelling at his age level, but also for someone in their 20s. He describes himself as aggressive.
“I smashed the 20 and below record on everything,” Buehrer said. “I like to do the best I can do.”
“A lot of the credit goes to the people I work with, my father, the chiefs.”
He says this in a normal conversational tone. He’s not bragging, just proud of what he has done so he can fulfill his mission to help others. He had to complete 575 hours of training in the academy, a total he said has surpassed again after becoming an officer.
“They apparently like what I do so they give me these trainings,” Buehrer said.
He admits he gets an adrenaline rush from his job, but still it’s all about helping people.
Being a police officer can put him in some tight spots and he credits his faith in God for helping him defuse situations and make a positive result. So far he has never had to pull his weapon.
“God has given me the ability to handle people without having to pull my gun,” Buehrer said.
His work ethic impresses his chiefs and fellow officers. His reward has been invitations to take a wide variety of training courses.
His work as a chaplain allows him an opportunity to help the inmates deal with their situation and how to make better choices. He stresses to them they are no different than those outside, they just got caught.
“We give them a message and wisdom,” Buehrer said. “We tell them how they got in here and how if they do good there are consequences and if they do bad there are consequences.
“They control their own lives.”
These experiences have led Buehrer to believe that God puts people in the deep end of the pool of life where they can’t touch the sides or the bottom.
“He pushes you around but he is control,” Buehrer said. “He’s always there with help and support.
“No one has the faith we want, but I feel God, through faith guides us.
“Without God I don’t think I would be alive,” Buehrer said.
Buehrer was raised in the First Lutheran Church in Stryker, but Marsha, was raised Catholic and at first the couple went to their original services every weekend, but that took too much of their time.
After visiting several churches in the area, the settled on St John’s Catholic Church.
“It felt like home,” Buehrer said.
There they raised two girls, Angela and Alicia. They have two grandsons (Angela) and Buehrer has been busy teaching the boys all about gun safety.
He also has taught wood cutting to a homeschool botany class, which goes along with one of his major pillars of his life: Helping young people.
“I like to help people, especially young people are the future of our area,” Bueher said. “They are what’s going to be here down the road.”
That is particularly true in his police work where he works with juveniles and help get back on the right road. He also teaches gun safety for young people at a class offered by the Fulton County Deputy Sheriff.
“The best start we can give them, and as a police officer that helps out a lot,” Buehrer said.
James Pruitt may be reached at email@example.com
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