Obituary: Brian L. 'buz' Hembling
Brian L. “buz” Hembling made his first vocal objection on October 10, 1943 to the surprise of being born and made his last undoubtedly amusing quip on March 27, 2020. It is not, however, the dates here that are significant. It is the importance of what occupied the space in between.
Before passing, Brian forged a 76 year trail of laughter, generosity, compassion, and wisdom – and spent his life in service with unabashed bravado. To his surviving “main squeeze,” his wife Patricia “Pat” Hembling, he bequeathed a strong devotion of 52 years.
Brian was always the first person to make a joke, even if his timing was off – and 9 out of 10 times it was. He had an innate ability to zing a conversation with a “buzer” one-liner. This super power was, fortunately or unfortunately depending upon who you asked, passed along to his two children, Judith Louise and Brian Patrick, and their unsuspecting spouses Delaney Wells and Evelyn Pereira.
Brian was predeceased by his parents Harvey H. and Billie Wylde Hembling, his brother Bruce H. Hembling and his granddaughter Patrice Brionne Wells.
He served 5 years in the United States Air Force as an announcer for the Armed Forces Radio and Television, and it was his military service that inspired a lifelong commitment to his country and community. Brian was involved in activities that are too numerous to detail, but chances are that you met him and received some of his effusive energy along the way.
He was a Rotarian and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow, which is given in appreciation of fostering better relations among peoples of the world. He was an avid Toastmaster, multi-term High School Board Member, proud founding member of the Dunsmuir Historical District, and creator of the Dunsmuir Historic Museum. Brian was honored as the Dunsmuir Citizen of the year in 1980. He went on to trail blaze, with the help of the California Conservation Corp, what the community has continued to improve and has finally become the stunning hiking trail to Hedge Creek Falls. It wasn’t his resume that he was padding, he was there to enjoy being with people and to work toward their mutual goals. He always wanted everyone interested in helping even the smallest parts of our community to know that they were greatly appreciated.
Brian spent 14 years casting his voice over the local radio waves at KWSD, announcing local high school and college football games, rodeos, parades, and harmonizing with his Barbershop Brothers throughout the state. In 1987 he took to roaming the North State Counties, providing insurance to his community for another 14 years.
He had 30+ years as a member of the various Freemasonry organizations. He was a Master Mason and Past Master of the former Dunsmuir Lodge, the Siskiyou Lodge in Mt. Shasta and most recently the Ft. Crook Lodge in Fall River Mills. Brian was the recipient of the Hiram Award bestowed upon a member for his devoted service to the Lodge and Masonic principles.
As a member of the Klamath Scottish Rite Club he was a 32nd Degree Mason and earned his Red Cap denoting his rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor. Brian continued in the Masonic Family with membership in the York Rite, Royal Arch Masons and the Knights Templar.
His membership in the Siskiyou Shrine Club, Ben Ali Shrine of Sacramento and the Intermountain- Modoc Shrine Club in Fall River Mills allowed him to work for and support Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Brian served as past patron and chaplain of Fidelity Chapter of Eastern Star in Mt. Shasta.
Through it all, this Superman, loving husband and doting dad, used compassion, kindness, empathy, and thoughtfulness to serve humanity, his country, community, and family. Service without expectation of material gain or recognition is a true act of selflessness, and Brian was famous for his generosity. Ask anyone who knew him, or any stranger that he met, and they will tell you that his warm and fuzzy “hello embraces” emanated his pure joy of life.
His devout feistiness and stick-to-it-ness served him well in his life. Even throughout his remaining few months, he was a model of strong will and sheer determination to the end of his journey. Following his wishes, there will not be a service. We know Brian would have wanted to say “Thank You.” Thank you to his beloved City of Dunsmuir, which he so lovingly called home and enthusiastically dedicated 48 years of service.
Instead of flowers, Brian would hope that you perform an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness in his name – and that you work collectively to keep Dunsmuir’s charm and beauty thriving for the generations to come. In such a close knit community, where we all know each other’s triumphs and sorrows, he shared his heart openly with everyone. Within the heart of our family, we will continue to hold his flame shining brightly. His undying love has lifted us to heights we never imagined and his larger than life presence will be greatly missed.
Brian L. “buz” Hembling has signed off from the airwaves, for the last time.