Wesley Dale “Coach” Buller, 89, of Lawrence, KS passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday, April 2, 2018. Visitation will be 6 to 8 pm Friday, April 6, 2018 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W, 13th St, Lawrence, KS 66044. Services will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 7, 2018 at West Side Presbyterian Church, 1024 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS with burial services at 2:00 pm Saturday, April 7, 2018 at Prairie Lawn Cemetery in Peabody, KS.
Wesley was born October 6, 1928 in Goessel, KS son of the late David D. and Lydia F. Buller. He was one of 9 children.
Wesley is survived by his loving wife Ruth Ann Buller of Lawrence, KS. Wesley married Ruth on May 29, 1981 in Lawrence, KS. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce Arlene Buller, on June 13, 1971. Three children from his first union survive, Sandra White, Debra Munoz (Eddie), Gregory Buller (Kelly) all of Topeka, KS. He is also survived by stepdaughter Jennifer Harris (Terry). Stepson Jeffrey Miller preceded him in death on November 24, 2012, wife Janice survives. Other surviving family members include brothers Clarence Buller (Lawrence, KS) and Arlo Buller (Beaumont, TX), 9 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Siblings preceding him in death are brothers: Raymond, Harold and Lloyd; sisters: Hilda, Elizabeth and Pearl.
Wesley and his family moved to Peabody, KS in 1937, where he graduated from Peabody High School in 1947. After graduation, he went to Southwestern College in Winfield, KS on an athletic scholarship in football and track, lettering all four years in both sports. He graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. After college, Wesley joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Europe during the Occupation of Germany in the Korean War era. He was a Corporal in the Army and because he had teacher’s certificate, he became an instructor, teaching fellow servicemen to read and write. Wesley also ran track and field for the Army. He won gold and silver trophies in long distance running, including the steeple chase, which qualified him to participate in the International Sports Track meet in Brussels, Belgium. He was discharged from the Army in 1951. In 1952 he married first wife Joyce Lachenmaier.
Wesley was a teacher and football coach at Byers and Erie High Schools in Kansas. He received his Master’s Degree in Counseling from Pittsburg State University in 1960. He left the high school ranks and became the head football and track coach at Bethel College in Newton, KS (1960-1964), Friends University in Wichita, KS (1965-1968), and Southwestern College (1968-1971), his alma mater. Wes was considered by many to be an offensive genius and was offered the Offensive Coordinator job at then Southwest Missouri State, but declined the position so he could focus on raising his 3 children after his wife’s passing. Wes left coaching and went into school administration after receiving his Administrative Certificate from Wichita State University in 1972. He became the Elementary-Middle School principal in Yates Center, KS (1972-1976), Junior High Principal and football coach in Oberlin, KS (1976-1979), and Onaga High School Principal (1979-1984). He retired as a counselor from the State of Kansas Industries for the Blind in Topeka, KS in 1990. Wes missed being around school kids, so after retiring from the State, he took a part time job driving a school bus in Lawrence. Wes was an avid Jayhawk fan. He enjoyed attending KU football practices, often times sitting with Coach Fambrough and became acquainted with the players who would address him by name.
Wesley was an active member at West Side Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. He was a volunteer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital as well as the Presbyterian Manor. He was also a member of the American Legion where he served in the honor guard at military funerals.
Memorials may be sent to West Side Presbyterian Church or Dorsey Liberty American Legion Post 14 in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.