Monday, March 8, 2021

Obituary of Elsworth R. "Buz" Buskirk, 84

Name of Deceased Elsworth R. "Buz" Buskirk
Age 84
Date of Death 03/28/2010
Date of Birth 08/11/1925
Funeral Home Koch Funeral Home

Elsworth R. (Buz) Buskirk, 84, of State College, passed away on March 28, 2010, at the Atrium of the Village at Penn State. Buz was born in Beloit, Wis. on August 11, 1925, a son of the late Ellsworth and Laura Parman Buskirk.

He graduated from Beloit High School in 1943 and briefly attended the University of Wisconsin before enlisting in the Army later that year, serving primarily in the European theater until his discharge in 1946. Buz attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. from 1946-1950, receiving his B.A. in Biology and Physical Education. At St Olaf he participated in various varsity sports including tennis, ice hockey and football, with athletic & outdoor activities remaining lifelong interests both personally and professionally.

In 1948, he married Mable Heen after her graduation from St. Olaf College, beginning their lasting partnership. He received his M.A. in Physical Education and Physiologic Hygiene in 1951 and his Doctorate in Physiologic Hygiene in 1954 from the University of Minnesota. He continued his work in human physiology and performance at the Environmental Research Laboratory in Natick, Mass. from 1954 to 1957 and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. from 1957 to 1963. In 1963, he accepted a Professorship at Penn State University with a mandate to develop the Laboratory for Human Performance Research, now known as the Noll Physiology Research Center. Here he continued his work in environmental and exercise physiology and initiated a graduate program in Applied Physiology, enjoying the company of many fine colleagues and students over the years. His primary areas of research interest included the physiology of exercise and aging, human adaptation to environmental stress including heat, cold and high altitude, obesity, and the epidemiology of coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.

He retired from Penn State in 1992, but continued to enjoy following the research efforts of his former group at Penn State and to volunteer his services in editorial and advisory capacities to various scientific journals, the National Institutes of Health, and other professional organizations. Locally, Buz served on the Board of Directors for Centre Community Hospital (now Mount Nittany Medical Center) from 1966 to 1974. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying golf, tennis, and hunting as a member of Centre Hills Country Club and Mountain Acres. He loved State College and its environs and the company of many good friends.

He is survived by his wife Mable, daughters Laurel and husband David Wiegand, of Palmyra, and Kristine and husband Glenn Hallett, of Midland, Mich., grandchildren Charles and Jacklyn Hallett, and sister Verjean and husband Bill Jurs and family of, Janesville, Wis.

A visitation for all friends and family will be held between 5-7 p.m., Friday April 16, 2010, at the Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., in State College. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 17, 2010, at Grace Lutheran Church, 205 S. Garner St, State College, to be followed by a private family burial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions may be made to either Grace Lutheran Church, 205 S. Garner St, State College, Pa 16801 or to the Mount Nittany Medical Center Foundation, 1800 E. Park Ave, State College, Pa 16803.