Johnathan Wayne Buffett, also known as Jimmy Buffett, John-boy, or Johnny, passed away on August 28, 2011 at the age of 27. While stationed in South Korea as a pilot in the U.S. Army, a motorcycle accident took his life.
John was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on Jan. 9, 1984, to Anthony and Beverly Buffett. His father, Anthony, was serving in the Army as a mechanic and was stationed there. John’s childhood was that of a typical Army brat — after his family returned from Germany, they moved throughout the United States and also returned to Germany, a place John loved and spoke of often. His father retired in Missouri after serving his country for over 20 years. During John’s teenage years, he met Jim and Darlene Wilson and worked on their hunting ranch, becoming more and more like a son.
From an early age, John loved music and knew that God had given him a desire and gift to play and lead. John accepted Jesus when he was a small boy and from then on, Jesus was John’s focal point. Everything he did and everything he was came from his Lord and Savior.
In 2004, he started college at MSU-West Plains. There he started a Bible study on campus where he ministered to other students. While leading the study in 2005, he met his future wife, Amber Weatherford. They quickly fell in love and married six months later on June 10, 2006. They shared a heart for the Lord and a love of life that led them to China in August of that same year. After returning from the student exchange program in China, John served again in campus ministry until May 2007 when he became the interim youth pastor at Cabool First Baptist Church. He loved ministering to teenagers and getting down on their level to show them the truths that he knew and lived by from the Bible. That passion continued even though he had to leave the youth ministry when he was accepted to the Warrant Officer Program with the Army.
On Jan. 29, 2008, he enlisted in the Army and went on to complete basic training and then Warrant Officer Candidate School, graduating as a W-1 in June of 2008 in Ft. Rucker, Alab. While training to become a Blackhawk pilot, he welcomed his first daughter, Airalynn Grace, into the world on Oct. 3, 2008. After two years of Blackhawk training, he graduated in the top 10 percent of his class in 2010 and was offered fixed wing training, which he excitedly accepted. During that training he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Two. In September 2010 he had finished all training to fly the RC-12 and was given his first assignment in the “real” Army, Camp Humphreys,
but was able to return home to meet Elenie Jane, his second daughter, born on Dec. 1, 2010. His family was able to join him in Korea in March 2011.
While serving in Korea as a fixed wing pilot, he volunteered for jobs and duties that no one else would do, diligently did his job with a good attitude, made a positive impression on his superior officers and gained a lot of respect for the kind of soldier and officer he had become. Outside of the military, he was a kind, loving, respectful husband with great enthusiasm for life and laughter who took great care of his wife and daughters and relished every moment he got to spend with each of them.
A short six months after his wife and children arrived in Korea, on the afternoon of August 28, 2011, he left his family on earth and joined his Father in heaven. Those that knew him on earth know where he is, but he will be greatly missed and fond memories will be shared of him for years to come.
He is preceded in death by his grandfather, Bruce Chubbuck.
He is survived by his wife, Amber Buffett; daughters, Airalynn and Elenie Buffett; parents, Anthony and Beverly Buffett of Houston, Mo.; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Heather Buffett and their five children of Ozark, Mo.; sister, Christina Buffett of Houston, Mo.; friends and mentors, Jim and Darlene Wilson of Houston, Mo.; grandmother, Emma Buffett of New Jersey; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services were 3 p.m. Sept. 10, 2011, at Faith Fellowship Church in Bucyrus, Mo., with Pastor Bill Chambers officiating. Burial with full military honors was in Emery Cemetery in Bucyrus, Mo. Pallbearers were Richard Buffett, Jim Wilson, George Sholtz, Dave Peterson, Dennis Weatherford and Kent Leichliter. Services were under direction of Evans Funeral Home of Houston, Mo.
Expressions of condolence and caring may be left at www.evansfh.com.