by LYDIA COBB | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Leading A Good Way

family_buetow2The Buetows relocated for work and found Valle Verde six years ago. They are drawn to this older neighborhood and its canopies of mature trees. Bernie Buetow, Ph.D., D.V.M. is a board-certified veterinary pathologist. Sharon is an accountant with a B.S. in business administration, not currently working as she’s raising their two sons. Sharon and Bernie met at the gym, where Sharon worked and where Bernie went to work out.

Here at home, they live a balanced life with teens Alec and Devin. “Our family jokes around and teases a lot,” said Sharon. “We believe you can work hard and do a good job while maintaining a smile, laughing, and having fun.” Now that Devin is a freshman at Poway High, he joins Alec, a sophomore. In the school’s marching band, Alec plays the flute and Devin is on trumpet. Going the distance, Alec is in cross-country running – this year, Devin joins the team.

“You can work hard and do a good job while maintaining a smile, laughing, and having fun.”

At home the fun continues. When Bernie poured pickle juice over ice and suggested that Devin finish a Mountain Dew, Devin got played. Not to be outwitted, Devin placed a habanero pepper in the mix of sweet peppers Bernie enjoys. Sharon remembered, “With watery eyes and a red face, Bernie looked at Devin and said, ‘Well played, my young Padawan.’”


Parents: Bernard (Bernie) Buetow and Sharon Buetow
Children: Alec Buetow, 15, Poway High Sophomore; and Devin Buetow, 14, Poway High Freshman
Community: Valle Verde since 2010
Hometowns: Bernie – Crete, IL; Sharon – Henniker, NH
Occupations: Bernie – Veterinary Pathologist; Sharon – Accountant
Pet: Zane – Ball python
Guide Dog Trainee: Tanev – dog
Favorite Places in 92064: Mount Woodson, Iron Mountain, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, Old Poway Park, Webb Park


Sometimes they take to the road and explore state and national parks, going fishing and hiking, or ATV riding. But it’s volunteering together that leads to their greatest rewards. “People that we are closest to in our community are those we met through our volunteer work at Boy Scout Troop 680 and Guide Dogs for the Blind,” added Sharon. Bernie is a second-year Scoutmaster in a group described by Sharon as a “high adventure troop that does some fantastic outings.” Sharon is a club leader in Paws 4 A Cause, nurturing puppies as future guide dogs. The Buetows have so far raised four puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind (one was better placed as a Diabetic Alert Dog). Sharon admits it’s hard to see her puppies leave, but shared, “These dogs go on and do amazing things for the people they are matched with.” It’s all about putting passions in the right places, Buetow family-style.