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Gerard Louis Buhrman, Jr.

May 18, 2011
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Gerard Louis Buhrman, Jr., formerly of Ann Arbor and Mullett Lake, Mich. and Sanibel, died Saturday, May 14 in Holland, Mich.

He was born Oct. 6, 1918 in Dayton, Ohio, son of Gerard Louis Buhrman, Sr. and Florence Olds Buhrman. He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., then graduated from Yale University in 1941 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. At Yale he was a member of the Saint Elmo Club. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer.

On June 29, 1946 he married Suzanne Patterson in St. Louis, Mo. They began their married life in Cheboygan, Mich. where Mr. Buhrman worked for Argus Camera. In 1952, they moved to Ann Arbor where he enjoyed a variety of interesting jobs throughout his career, including founding Olmsted Products and Michigan Capital.

Mr. Buhrman is survived by his wife, Suzanne; two sons, Jeffrey (Leslie) of Portland, Maine and Lindsay (Tamra) of Cheboygan, Mich; one daughter, Debby Topliff (John) of Saugatuck, Mich.; six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Peter and Olds.

Mr. Buhrman was a man of sharp intellect and natural curiosity. He loved jazz, food, dogs, boats, and fine cars. He was a founding member of the Ferrari Club of America. He loved nature and in the 1950s tried to design his own underwater camera for photographing fish on his many trips to the Caribbean. He often planned the itinerary of his vacations around top-notch restaurants. As a young man he sailed from Connecticut to Michigan through the Saint Lawrence Seaway. He was a devoted husband and provided lovely homes with studio space for Suzanne to pursue her painting career.

A graveside service will be held on May 21 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor. For more information, visit In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Hospice of Holland or Cheboygan Memorial Hospital.

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Gerard Louis Buhrman, Jr.



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