Mercedes Homes Founder Howard W. Buescher Passed Away December 26 at Age 97
By Space Coast Daily // January 3, 2021
Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II
Howard and his children grew Mercedes Homes to be the second largest privately owned home building company in the country
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Described by many as the most determined man one can know, Howard Buescher had one last goal before heading home to be with the Lord— to celebrate Christmas with his family.
After several months of declining health, and true to his character, Howard passed away peacefully with his beloved wife Mercedes and their children by his side on December 26, 2020, at the age of 97.
Howard is preceded in death by his father, George Buescher, his mother, Clara Buescher, and his two younger brothers, William Buescher and Russell Buescher.
Howard’s story began on March 2, 1923, as the first child to George and Clara Buescher. Howard was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His life-long ambition to work hard and be the best that he could be began with his first job at age 10 delivering newspapers.
In 1933, the first world’s fair opened in Chicago, IL. The Cleveland News, the newspaper he delivered, held a sales contest with the winner earning a trip to the fair. Howard’s determination won him that trip and he took the train (alone) at age 10 to experience the fair.
After graduating from High School, his work ethic and ambitious nature continued. Howard went on to join the United State Navy, serving in WWII as an aviation structural mechanic (AMH-1) from 1942-1946.
For his service in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, he received the Bronze Star, good conduct medal, the WWII Victory Medal and two letters of commendation. Howard was an inspiration to both of his younger brothers as William Buescher served in the United States Marine Corps and Russell Buescher served in the United States Navy.
After Howard’s discharge from active duty in 1946, he served in the Naval Reserve until January 1954. It was during these years that Howard met and married (1947) the love of his life, Mercedes. Together, with God always at the center of their marriage, they would build a family that Howard treasured above all else.
Howard had an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong passion for cars. The first company he started was an auto repair and restoration company. However, as his family grew he changed careers, moving into Real Estate with his friend, Jim Ryan. Jim was part owner of Ryan Homes, which was expanding into Ohio.
Howard’s career with the Ryan Organization spanned over 20 years. Beginning in 1962, as a sales agent, he quickly advanced within the Ryan organization and after five short years, he became the Regional Manager for the state of New York.
His next promotion would take his family to Pittsburg, PA where he served as President of Ryan Building Systems (selling home-building franchises). One of Howard’s proudest achievements with Ryan was his 1963 induction into the “Million Dollar Club.”The sales acumen that he developed back at the age of 10 proved to serve him well.
In 1982, Howard retired and made the move to Florida. However, his retirement didn’t last long, as his daughter, Susan approached him about starting another company just before her college graduation. In 1983, they started Mercedes Homes—naming it in honor of his wife, Mercedes. Howard and his children grew Mercedes Homes to be the second largest privately owned home building company in the country.
Although, Howard was a man of many accomplishments and awards, he was most proud of his marriage with Mercedes and the family they built. At any speaking engagement, or just anytime he could grab a microphone, Howard always began by expressing the gratitude he felt for his wife.
Their love story is one that will be fondly remembered, as their dedication to each other was an inspiration to everyone. They were each other’s biggest fans and after 73 years of marriage, they consistently expressed their love for one another. Howard always greeted Mercedes by saying, “Good Morning, Miss America.” Mercedes would flash a big, bright smile and say, “You are the love of my life.”
They raised a family of seven children; daughter, Linda Lee Swain (Don) of Deland, FL., son, Thomas C. Buescher (Patricia) of Elliott City, MD., son, Keith Howard Buescher (Lila) of Merritt Island, FL., son, Scott M. Buescher (Janet) of Melbourne, FL., daughter, Susan Girard (Greg) of Melbourne, FL, son, Jon Buescher (Regina) of Ocala, FL., son Dean Buescher (Sherry) of New Braunfels, TX.
Howard cherished his 25 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and his one great-great grandson.
Howard also had many nieces and nephews who were very special to him. Niece, Diane Churchill; niece, Marlene Rodriguez (Marvin); nephew, Dennis Jasany (Linda); nephew, James Buescher (Donna); and niece Laurel Buescher.
Howard was an avid pet lover and throughout the years had many Dogs he adored. His two beloved ones at home with Mercedes are Duchess and Crystal.
Howard, consistently stated how blessed he was to be surrounded by his family and friends. He missed his loyal friend, Carolyn Pierce who retired in 2018. Carolyn always knew exactly what Howard or Mercedes needed.
He was especially grateful for the compassionate care given by Anna, Celia, Chrissy, Jessica and Maria. They were extremely attentive and helpful when his health began to fail him. He was grateful for his Health First nurse, Brenna and the caring assistance from the Health First Hospice team, especially his nurse, Marisa. Howard loved and cared deeply for his very special friend and home nurse, Trish Hardy, who he thought of as his “adopted daughter.”
Howard gratefully gave credit to Mercedes for introducing him to Ascension Catholic Church, their Parrish for more than 30 years. It was through their close, and years-long, relationship with Father Eamon Tobin that they would embark on decades of supporting their Parrish. They faithfully gave back to their community by championing many worthy causes, with a special commitment to the Daily Bread.
He loved to laugh, especially at himself. His goal was to make everyone’s day a little brighter. He loved a good joke and always had one to share. He valued integrity, loyalty, and friendship. He was a teacher and mentor to many. He was by far the best listener we will ever know.
Until the end, he remained an inspiration to us all. He taught us compassion, honesty, kindness, forgiveness and humor. When it became apparent to him that God was ready for him, he taught us how to face it with courage, dignity and with the joy of what lies ahead. We will miss him every day but will find comfort in knowing he is home with his heavenly Father.
Funeral services and Mass were held December 31, 2020, at Ascension Catholic Church in Melbourne.