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March 9, 2021

Remembering Fay Buhl

by Rick Muzingo

Fay FitzSimons Buhl, the honorary godmother of Racing For Kids®, passed away on February 25 in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Former board member of Children’s Hospital of Michigan,  Fay is the mother of four boys including former IndyCar Racer,  Robbie Buhl, who is the national spokesperson and co-founder of Racing For Kids; Tom Buhl, longtime co-chairman of  Racing For Kids to the Hill- the charity’s  major fundraising event in Grosse Pointe Farms; and Larry and David.

Fay was a huge racing fan, the official starter of her boys’ backyard bike races in the 1960s and an accomplished sportsperson.  From the earliest days of Racing For Kids, founded in 1989, Fay supported and counseled the charity, and was a fixture at every Racing For Kids fundraising event. She was often seen wearing a beautiful diamond and ruby Racing For Kids logo pin she’d purchased at a the charity’s annual fundraising event.

Born February 9, 1934 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, Fay attended The Academy of Sacred Heart in Grosse Pointe Farms and graduated from Manhattanville  College in Purchase, New York.  She and her husband of 58 years, Larry Buhl Jr. lived most of their lives in Grosse Pointe before moving to Harbor Springs, MI in 1985.

Fay had a lifelong commitment to community involvement. In Grosse Pointe she was involved with St. Paul’s on the Lake Catholic Church, The Garden Club of Michigan, The Junior League and Sigma Gamma Association.

After her husband’s died in 2014, she followed his path by serving on the McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital Board and in 2019 she was awarded the Jack Clark Philanthropy and Service Award by the hospital.

Family was Fay’s first commitment and she is survived by her sons Larry (Amy), David (Mia), Robbie (Becky) and Tom (Lindsey); and 11 grandchildren: Amanda, Maddie, Lawson, Teddy, Tessa, Carly, Quinn, Jeffrey, William, Elise and Christian.

A funeral mass was celebrated March 5 at Holy Childhood of Jesus Catholic Church in Harbor Springs, MI.  Memorial donations in Fay’s honor can be made to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, 360 Connable Ave. Petoskey, MI 49770.