FDL County Mourns The Loss Of An Icon

He simply loved Fond du Lac County and everything about it. And he spent his whole career as the Fond du Lac County Executive making sure he would leave the county in a much better place, whenever he decided to step aside.

Now, the county mourns the loss of Al Buechel, who passed away Sunday, one day after suffering a massive heart attack.

KFIZ News was informed Sunday afternoon by Erin Gerred, Director of Administration for Fond du Lac County, of Buechel’s passing.

In a press release issued early Sunday evening, Gerred said, “It is with the greatest of sadness and heaviest of heart that I share with you the loss of County Executive Allen J. Buechel who passed away unexpectedly this afternoon.  It is requested that you respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements are pending.”

Buechel served as Fond du Lac County Executive since 1993, after serving on the Fond du Lac County Board for 17 years. 

With Buechel in office, Fond du Lac County was viewed as a leader in the state, piloting innovative programs such as Family Care and Welfare Reform. It was under Buechel’s watch that Fond du Lac County significantly modernized the infrastructure including the airport, highways, fairgrounds, golf course, parks, trails, UW-Fond du Lac, consolidated dispatch center, jail expansion, regional medical examiner program, as well as information technology.

Buechel was also very instrumental in leading the negotiations that kept Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac.

He was 11 months into his eighth term as County Executive, which started in April, 2021, and he was recognized as the longest serving county executive in the state of Wisconsin. 

KFIZ News spoke to County Board Supervisor, Marty Ryan, who said losing Buechel is a huge blow to the county, but that the current county board leadership team will work diligently to maintain the direction of the county that Buechel put in place.

Allen Buechel was a Fond du Lac County native and is survived by his wife Betty, as well as two grown children and two granddaughters. He was 74 years old.