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Life Story / Obituary
Although she was taken from her loved ones much too soon, Rachel Buell made a significant impact in the lives of so many around her. She was fun-loving and had the best laugh with a zest for life that was truly contagious. There was no greater gift in Rachel’s life than her loved ones, and she was also a genuine and giving friend. Determined and resilient, her strength was such an inspiration. Deeply loved, Rachel will be forever missed.
It was on a cold winter day that Mary Scanio was pleased to announce the birth of her baby girl she named Rachel Mary on January 8, 1973. The only child in her family, she was raised in both Melrose Park and Berwyn, both located in Illinois. Rachel’s mom worked in the community as police dispatcher. So loved by many, she had several nicknames growing up including Buttons and Lil’ Pooh as she carried Pooh stuffed animals everywhere she went. Although she experienced many health struggles while growing up including knee issues, which required intense therapy, the smile never left Rachel’s face. Surrounded by so much family who loved her, she was very close to her grandparents and even lived with both her mother and extended family members for a time. It has been said that she was Grandpa’s girl, so it only stands to reason that her daughter would be Grandpa’s girl one day as well. Rachel developed her love for cooking from her grandmother who taught her so many things in the kitchen. These would be things her family and friends came to know Rachel for later in life.
In many ways Rachel was a young girl of her generation. She attended local schools, and she also worked some in addition to holding down her studies. Her first job found her serving ice-cream at Baskin Robbins, and she also worked at a local bank, first as a teller but was later placed in charge of the ATM initiative. In addition to graduating from Riverside Brookfield High School in 1990, Rachel also attended North Central College from 1991 through 1992. As a student she was involved in makeup for their school theatre, and she was also an honor student in the business education team.
New and exciting changes were in store for Rachel when she met the man of her dreams. His name was Dan Buell, and they met through a mutual friend Eric Lewandowski. Since he lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, their relationship began over numerous long distance phone calls, but once Dan drove out to meet Rachel the rest is history as they say. She then transferred to the office in Kalamazoo, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Rachel and Dan were married on May 16, 1998, at St Pius Church in Stickney, Illinois. They were a great pair who had so very much in common, and their core values and family life were in sync as well. Although Rachel was advised not to have children based on some health issues, their miracle baby, Gianna, was born in 2007. She had married the man of her dreams who was the kindest and caring husband and now her world was complete with the arrival of their daughter. Rachel adored her home, and this was where she loved to be, especially since being with her family was her greatest gift. In addition, her life was so enriched once Chester became a loving father figure to her. Not only did she adore him, but she felt like she had finally found the missing piece in her life when Chester became a big part of her heart.
There was never anything as important to Rachel in life as the people in her life. With her family she enjoyed the simple things like leisurely drives, spending time with each other at local restaurants, and beach trips to Lake Michigan. Rachel found comfort in being in the water to alleviate her pain. Sometimes they went to the fair, and visits to her parents’ house to play cards or swim in their pool were also among her favorite times. At the beach, Rachel would play Seamonster with Gianna and have an absolute blast together. She also loved being there to watch Gianna play sports. As a mother, Rachel was second to none, and she and her daughter were also best friends. Pets always held a special place in her heart including their current dogs, Riley and Jake, and their cat, Kato Bruce Lee. She always made birthdays and holidays special. Christmas was one of Rachel’s favorite holidays. In fact, she still has her Christmas tree up in their family room as it is filled with special ornaments. She had a tender spirit towards animals from a very young age, and she was known to rescue an animal or two including several cats and dogs.
Throughout her life Rachel was a woman of many interests. She loved to plant vegetables and flowers, and among her favorites were hibiscus as she always dreamed of one day living in Hawaii. Rachel was fantastic in the kitchen, and her meals were always of the gourmet variety rather than simple. Of course, as an Italian her spaghetti sauce was always homemade. An avid reader, this was something Rachel loved from the time she was young. As a result, she could discuss any topic in great detail. The family enjoyed evenings together watching Supernatural, a favorite show of theirs. In addition to being a Cubs fan she loved the Chicago Bears and also loved watching soccer and even tennis. Rachel enjoyed playing Bingo and Farm Story on her phone, as well as bowling with her husband and daughter. When it came to music Rachel had very diverse tastes as she loved everything from heavy metal to Michael Bublé.
All who knew Rachel would agree that there was so much to love about her. She loved life and embraced challenges no matter what she faced, and she always did what needed to be done despite the pain she may have been in. It has been said that Rachel loved from the time she drew her first breath, and her love was unconditional and extended to all.
Described as love personified, Rachel Buell was a gift in the lives of others. She had a beautiful smile and infectious laugh that both drew others near with ease. Honest and giving, Rachel inspired others to be the best version of themselves by the way she lived her life each and every day. Her strength and determination were unmatched, even when hers was an uphill battle at time. Life will never be the same without Rachel here, but she leaves behind a priceless legacy deeply rooted in love and compassion that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Rachel Buell died on May 3, 2021 in Kalamazoo. Rachel’s family includes her husband, Dan; daughter, Gianna; parents, Mary and Chester Lauth; niece to: Vince, Dolores and Tom Scanio, Linda (Jim) Kucharczyk, Wally and John Lauth and many cousins. Visit with family and friends on Tuesday (MAY 11) from 5-7PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900 where services will be held Wednesday (MAY 12) at 11AM. Burial will follow at Grand Prairie Cemetery. Please visit Rachel’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guest book before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be had to Arthritis Foundation.