Dick Buzbee, former editor and publisher of The Hutchinson News and Olathe Daily News in Kansas, has died from brain cancer. He was 86.
Buzbee’s family said he died Wednesday morning in a Wichita hospital. He began a 35-year career in journalism with the Harris Enterprises newspaper group after leaving the Navy and worked in Chanute, Kan.; Burlington, Iowa, and then in Olathe and Hutchinson.
He was the father-in-law of Sally Buzbee, The Associated Press’ executive editor. Her husband, John, a veteran Foreign Service officer who served across the Middle East, died in 2016.
Richard Edgar “Dick” Buzbee was born Aug. 16, 1931, in Fordyce, Ark. He attended the University of Arkansas and the University of Missouri, where he received degrees in journalism and political science and a naval commission.
He served as a midshipman and officer aboard a battleship, a cruiser, an attack transport and a tank-landing ship.
He received a Department of the Army citation during the Vietnam War for patriotic civilian service. He was the chairman of four campaigns in Olathe to bring service members home for the Christmas holidays during that war.
Buzbee also served as the chairman of both the Olathe and Hutchinson chambers of commerce and as president of the Johnson County Red Cross and the Hutchinson Symphony.
He married his wife, Marie, in 1955, in Waverly, Mo., and they had four sons. He is survived by his wife, a brother, two sisters, two of his sons and 10 grandchildren.
“I really knew a lot about him. He was a very strong and caustic editorial writer. One of his best qualities was to say things how they are,” chuckled lifelong friend Lloyd Ballhagen.
Memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1602 N. Main, Hutchinson, with the Reverend Michael L. McGuire officiating. Military honors will be conducted by the United States Navy Honor Guard. Friends may sign the book from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today until service time at Elliott Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.