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Historical Figures Salute

Honoring the Memories of a Lifetime





Mary CassattMary Cassatt
May 22, 1844 - June 14, 1926
American painter and printmaker



Gene KellyGene Kelly
August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996
American dancer, actor and choreographer


Jonas SalkJonas Salk
October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995
Physician and medical researcher


Jackie RobinsonJackie Robinson
January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972
The first african american major league baseball player


/BuchFuneralHome/historical-figures/rachel-carson-web.jpgRachel Carson
May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964
writer, scientist and ecologist


/BuchFuneralHome/historical-figures/stephen-foster-websmall2.jpgStephen Collins Foster
July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864
The father of American music


/BuchFuneralHome/historical-figures/jimmy-stewart-web.jpgJames “Jimmy” Stewart
May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997
One of Hollywood’s most beloved actors





Mary Cassatt
May 22, 1844 - June 14, 1926

Mary CassattMary Cassatt, world renowned, impressionist painter was born in Pittsburgh, PA. She spent most of her life in France, after finding little satisfaction as a female artist in the U.S.

Under the mentorship and friendship of Edgar Degas, she honed her craft, focusing on paintings and pastels; many with a mother and child theme, which featured her family members. Later, she became an advisor to many art collectors in the U.S., including the Havemeyer collection, which is housed in the Metropolitan Museum.

Her paintings have sold for as much as $2.5 million. In her later years, blindness, caused by diabetes, robbed Cassatt of the ability to paint. Buch Funeral Home encourages everyone to open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds us every day.

Learn more about Mary Cassatt



Gene Kelly
August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996

Gene KellyA native of Pittsburgh, Gene Kelly was a dancer, choreographer and actor who changed the perception of male dancers with his energetic and athletic performances in some of America’s most beloved movie musicals.

Kelly started out as a dance teacher in Pittsburgh and worked his way onto the Broadway stage in 1938. By 1942, he had debuted in his first movie alongside Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal.  

During his career, he starred in many movies including the ground breaking  Anchors Aweigh, where he was the first human ever to perform next to an animated character and his most famous role of Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain. Buch Funeral Home reminds you to keep a bounce in your step and a song in your heart.

Learn more about Gene Kelly

Jonas Salk
October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995


Jonas SalkDr. Jonas Salk was a physician and medical researcher credited with discovering and developing the first safe and effective vaccine for polio, while working at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


Salk’s ambitious research over a seven-year period heralded him as a miracle worker when the success of his vaccine was released in 1952. Later, he founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California where he spent his life researching and writing. His last years were spent searching for a vaccine for HIV.


In 2015, Salk will be featured on a one-dollar U.S. coin honoring the March of Dimes.


Buch Funeral Home asks you to visit for to learn more about permanently eliminating the polio virus.

Jackie Robinson
January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972


Jackie Robinson began his ten-year baseball career by breaking the sport’s color barrier in 1947 when he joined the starting lineup of the Brooklyn Dodgers.


As the first African American to play in the majors, Robinson’s illustrious career included being named Rookie of the Year, playing in six consecutive All-Star Games, winning a World Series title and being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.  Later, he because the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball.


His legacy is celebrated every April 15, when all players on MLB teams wear his retired number 42 in his honor.  


Buch Funeral Home suggests you celebrate summer by taking someone “out to the ballgame.”


Click on the links below to learn more about Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson Website

Rachel Carson
May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964


Rachel CarsonBorn in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Rachel Carson was a writer, scientist and ecologist. A graduate of Chatham College in 1929, she received her MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932.


While writing radio scripts for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, she began to write articles and books, including her prize-winning study of the ocean, The Sea Around Us, in 1952.


Carson was greatly disturbed by the use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II and began writing of the long-term effects of pesticide misuse.  In 1962’s Silent Spring, she challenged current practices, advocating for a change in how humans view the natural world.


She died in 1964 after a long battle with breast cancer, leaving behind a legacy of environmental advocacy.


In honor of Ms. Carson, Buch Funeral Home encourages you to take a moment to appreciate the natural wonders around you.


Click on the links below to learn more about Rachel Carson’s contributions to the environment.

Rachel Carson Website

Rachel Carson Council

Stephen Collins Foster
July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864


Stephen FosterStephen Foster, known as the father of American music, was born in Lawrenceville, PA. After his formal education, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to work as a bookkeeper with a steamship company. While there, he wrote his first successful songs, including "Oh! Susanna."


He returned to Pennsylvania to work with the Christy Minstrels, while adding to titles like "Beautiful Dreamer", "Camptown Races" and "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" to America’s songbook. His innovative attempts to make a living as a professional songwriter were thwarted by the weak copyright laws of his time. He was eventually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


He died in New York City on January 13th, with little more than a worn leather wallet containing a scrap of paper that read, "Dear friends and gentle hearts." Buch Funeral Home respectfully invites admirers of Stephen Foster to sing, hum or play one of his songs today.


Click on the links below to celebrate the life and songs of Stephen Foster.

Complete listing of Stephen Foster songs

PBS-TV – American Experience show on Stephen Foster

Songwriters Hall of Fame

James “Jimmy” Stewart
May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997


Jimmy StewartJimmy Stewart, one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, was born the son of a hardware store owner in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  Many credit his humble beginnings with his on-screen success as a likeable everyman.


Stewart made more than 80 films during his fifty-year career, including three collaborations with Frank Capra, You Can’t Take it With You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).


He took a break from his acting career from 1941 to 1946 to serve his country in World War II and retired from U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1959 as a brigadier general. Stewart and his wife Gloria were married for 45 years and had twin daughters.


The Jimmy Stewart Museum opened in the mid-1990’s in Indiana, Pennsylvania, featuring a variety of movie and personal memorabilia.  Buch Funeral Home encourages you to appreciate your wonderful life.


Click on the links below to learn more about Jimmy Stewart and his life in films.

Jimmy Stewart Museum

New York Times - On This Day

International Movie Database