Local veterinarian, Dr. Benjamin Donaldson Buster, dies

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2007


Dr. Benjamin Donaldson &8220;Donny&8221; Buster died June 1 at Vaughan Regional Medical Center, Selma. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 4, at First Baptist Church, corner of Dallas Avenue and Lauderdale Street, with the Rev. Jack Lovelace and The Rev. Dr. John Fain officiating. Burial will be in New Live Oak Cemetery with Lawrence Funeral Home directing.

The family will receive visitors from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at

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Lawrence Funeral Home Chapel.

Born in Selma April 14, 1954, he was the son of Betty Burke and William Russell Buster Jr. After graduating from Morgan Academy in 1972, he enrolled at Auburn University, where he received his bachelor’s degree, then entered Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine.

After earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Buster entered practice at Selma Animal Hospital, where his practice extended beyond his care and love of animals, large and small, to their owners. His concern for them, the comfort and reassurance he gave in full measure as a physician engendered friendships throughout the Black Belt area.

One of his strengths was his love of young people and his active interest in their involvement in sports, in particular the Morgan Academy baseball program, which he served as a volunteer coach.

He possessed an intense interest in the mechanics of sports, and created a training aid for baseball, forming a company known as &8220;Swing Buster Sports, LLC, and working in its manufacturing and marketing.

Golf was one of his favorite sports, the game in which his golfing friends affectionately named him &8220;Dr. Golf, because he could always tell you how to swing&8221; says John Morris, a friend since junior high school days and a fellow alumnus of Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Jere Peak, another of Donny Buster’s large circle of friends and a Kappa Alpha brother, spoke of &8220;his incredible love for his family and his friends and for life. That is the thing that set him apart.&8221;

Pausing to chuckle, Peak said &8220;Donny was always quick to give advice, lovingly, in baseball as well as golf, which is the reason he was also known as &8216;Dr. Swing,’

because he could always tell you a way it could be better. He had the unique gift of endearing himself across all social and cultural circles. In our 40 years of friendship we never had a cross word. I have never heard anyone say an unkind word about Donny Buster.&8221;

Dr. Buster is survived by his wife, Bonnie Rowell Buster to whom he was married June 18, 1977; a daughter, Brooke Buster of Birmingham; a son, Reid Buster, an Auburn University student; his parents, Betty and Russell Buster; a brother, Rusty Buster and his wife Ruth of Cullman; his uncle, Ralph Buster of Sardis; his aunt, Virginia B. Hollinger of Camden; and a large extended family.

Memorial donations may be made to the Donny Buster Memorial Fund at First Baptist Church.

Pallbearers are Dr. Mike Wells, John Morris, Mike Wood, Jere Peak, Norris Green, Lyle Smith, Dr. George Wood and Dr. Mark Lawrence.

Honorary pallbearers are Rick Rowell, Burke Buster, Russell Buster IV, Jim Streetman, Everett Stewart, Bobby Driggers, Doug Smith, Jack Callen and Andy Rives.