BUCHERT, RONALD V.
Colonel, U.S. Air Force, (Ret.), 84, formerly of Tampa, died on February 13, 2018. A memorial service will be held at Pasadena Community Church on March 17, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Ron was born in Cincinnati OH during the great depression, and came of age during WWII. He leaves a wonderful family that he adored and who brought him much joy: Shirley, his loving wife of 62 years, his son Terrence Buchert (Sheila), daughters Kathleen LaPaglia (Dirk) and Peggy Miyares (Henry), his brother Kenneth Buchert, LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.), and six grandchildren: Kelsey, Logan, Madison, Brett, Daniel, and Katie.
Ron attended the University of Cincinnati, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity (serving as social chairman for several years). He graduated in 1955 with a B.S. in Advertising Design and an Air Force ROTC commission. He later earned a Masters in Public Administration from Auburn University.
Ron entered active duty, completed navigator training, and was assigned first to B-47s (at MacDill AFB) and shortly thereafter to B-52s. He accrued 2000 hours in the B-52, including twenty-five, 24 hour airborne-alert missions, three of which were flown during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the Vietnam War, he flew 170 EC-47 combat missions (800 combat hours). He has approximately 4000 total flying hours. Ron also served in the SAC missile field as a missile combat crew commander, staff officer, Wing Deputy Commander for Operations, Wing Vice Commander, and Wing Acting Commander. In addition to serving in both aircraft and missile operations, Ron was on the faculty of the Air Command and Staff College as a wing chief and the Armed Forces Staff College as the Dean of the Department of Professional Development. He served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for a total of 30 years. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), the Air Medal (5 awards), the Air Force Commendation Medal and various Vietnam War and other service decorations.
After retirement Ron managed a branch of First Florida Bank on MacDill AFB where he was selected “1991 Tampa Manager of the Year” for his assistance to families of military personnel serving in the Gulf War. Later, Ron worked as Director of Administrative Services and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Tampa.
Ron was a long-time leader in the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), serving on its national Board of Directors from 2000-2006 where he was Chairman of the Board’s Council and Chapter Affairs Committee and a member of the ad hoc, Name Evaluation Committee, which recommended the name change from The Retired Officers Association. His other activities and leadership positions in MOAA include: serving as President and Vice President of Florida Council of Chapters and as Vice President and for three terms as President of Tampa Chapter. He provided the leadership for the chapter to receive an Outstanding Chapter Award and to being selected 1993 Chapter of the Year.” He chaired the 1993 and 2001 Florida Council annual conventions. Under Ron’s pro-active leadership as President Florida Council, it revived its involvement in state legislative affairs, added two new chapters bringing the total to 45, established a newsletter, a web site, and an e-mail message net and established membership and military-to-civilian transition assistance committees. He personally re-wrote the council’s administrative book and the convention guidebook. Following his departure from office, he managed the successful statewide effort to change a State of Florida statute to provide sales tax relief to individual veteran’s chapters and posts. He has been a leader in local civic activities, serving as Vice President (Air Force) in the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the MacDill AFB Retiree Advisory Council, Senator Connie Mack’s Academy Selection Committee and Congressmen Mike Bilirakis and Gus Bilirakis’s Hillsborough County Advisory Council. In 1991 he assisted Tampa Bay civic leaders in their successful endeavor to keep open MacDill AFB by appearing before the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to represent military retirees. At the request of the base commander, Ron established and was the first President of the Special Operations Memorial Foundation that raised the funds and then constructed a $250,000 aircraft memorial park on MacDill AFB. For nine years he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Military Officers Benevolent Corporation, a charity that assists military family members. From 1999 to 2003 Ron served as the Florida representative on the Air Force Retiree Council.
Ron was also a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader while stationed in Wichita, KS. Ron was a member of the Air Force Association, and the Association of Air Force Missileers. His interests included running where he completed the dedication Sunshine Bridge Run and six Gasparilla 15Ks. He enjoyed reading WW II military history, photography, and cooking, and was a talented artist.
In lieu of flowers he has requested that donations may be made to the Tampa Chapter of MOAA’s Operation Helping Hand.