Patrick Buehler Former County Commissioner and Community Volunteer
This week’s personality truly needs no introduction as I am sure most of you know this gentleman, but maybe not all of his great deeds. Patrick Buehler, known to his friends as “Pat”, is a Calvert County native son who grew up in St. Leonard, went to public schools, graduated from Calvert High School and served here with the Maryland National Guard. He is one of seven siblings and lived in an old house attached to his mother’s grocery store “Buehler’s Market” on Main Street in this sleepy little town.
I met with Pat in this very store a couple of weeks ago. He was busy helping customers, straightening stock on the shelves, answering the phone, taking care of business with ease in the fashion of an old pro which he is. During his 71 years, he has been involved with this family operation for most his life and has become known to many as “The Mayor of St. Leonard”! He is a “fixture” in this part of the County and is one of Calvert’s “gentry”, a group of men that includes the late Louis Goldstein, Pat Collins, Pete Grover, and Bedford Glascock.
I have known Pat for years, but I really was only aware of his public life. He is known to be very outgoing, the first to offer a handshake and a smile to everyone, a good politician and fine diplomat to boot! And, I say this about this man with the most positive of intentions! I was surprised to learn he was less forthcoming in wanting to talk about his private life and his robust record of community service. He actually turned me down a few days after I asked him a series of questions about his life of service. But, with the encouragement of others, I did get a response back and learned some interesting things about Pat. From the time he was a small child, he learned from his mother of the importance of helping others by watching her treatment of her customers. If they were unable to pay for their purchases, she allowed them to charge until they were able to pay. When they were hungry, she would feed them. His mother made him see that these folks were more than customers, they were human beings with needs. Pat has tried to live his life in the same manner as his mother. He always tries to lend a helping hand where he can. He states he has been blessed to have been surrounded by great friends who share his belief for helping others as much as possible and his family who supports him in all his endeavors. He was a popular County Commissioner and was involved in many projects to benefit our citizens. His business background gave him an appreciation for sound fiscal management of the taxpayer’s monies. He remarked, “The more resources you have, the more you are able to help others in a larger capacity”.
He is one of the original founding members of “Christmas In April” in Calvert County. This annual program seeks out needy homeowners who are financially or medically unable to make repairs to their homes or erect structures such as ramps to allow easy access for those who are wheelchair bound. In late April, teams form throughout the County to provide labor and material to help the neediest of our citizens. And each year, this idea grows with groups that include mothers and children joining in with tasks such as yard cleanup, trash removal, roof replacement, exterior and interior painting, plumbing repairs and more. Businesses donate much of the required material and several organizations prepare the lunches for the hundreds of volunteers that participate. One group of men, the Knights of Columbus, have expanded their efforts into two weekends in August to bring about needed emergency repairs for elder folks with needs here in the Solomons area.
Pat did relate that he was recognized for his years of volunteerism in 2000 when he received the John C. Smith Chamber Award for “exceptional humanitarian work”. I also learned Pat was instrumental in the saving of the “Phillips House” in Prince Frederick in the 90’s. This major effort drew the support of many of the commissioners and politicians of the era who even showed up on cleanup day to help. A widely viewed video of this project was circulated with Pat as the Master of Ceremonies. And as history shows, this project was a fantastic success!
Pat’s latest interest is his invention of a small metal knife with a curved tip to be used when opening steamed crabs. The handle is designed for cracking the shell with a few small raps. He recently ordered a bunch to be sold here in the County. It’s a pretty simple, yet unique utensil that I think will catch on with the crab crowd. To see one of these, stop in and see Pat at his market most any week day. He is usually there and he is always open to a good chat!
And finally, no story about this interesting individual would be complete without mentioning the love of his life, his wife Beverly. For 35 years, she has been beside him in all of his endeavors! They have a daughter Maria and a grandson King who are very much involved in the family’s work. They all live on the same farm in St. Leonard where his mom was born and raised back in 1911. Commissioner, thank you for allowing me to do this story about your contributions to the people of Calvert County. You have been involved with many more facets of life here than your public service record would reveal. I enjoyed compiling this story from your answers to my questions plus “little tidbits” I was able to gather from talking with your friends. You have made our County even more beautiful in ways you probably never realized! Thank you!
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at email@example.com.