by Liz Lizama
Longtime Falls Church residents Barry and Kathleen Buschow are honored to serve as grand marshals for this year’s Memorial Day parade.
“The parade is so all Americana,” said Mrs. Buschow. “It is what I think Falls Church is all about. It just makes you smile. It’s a really great reflection of our community.”
The couple has a long history of public service and dedication to uplifting the Falls Church community.
Mrs. Buschow, who served 14 years as Falls Church City Clerk, has strong roots in the Northern Virginia area. “I grew up in Alexandria, Arlington,” she said. “I grew up in Kings Park – when it was the end of the Earth,” she laughed continuing on about her presence in the area during the opening of the beltway and Dulles Airport.
A graduate of George Mason University, Mrs. Buschow worked for two U.S. senators on Capitol Hill, a small business lobbying organization and a large Washington, D.C. law firm before becoming City Clerk of Falls Church, which she described as the perfect job for her.
As City Clerk, Mrs. Buschow said she enjoyed working with the residents, especially the senior citizens. “My degree is in government, and I’ve worked in politics and in the legal field, so it was a great job for me to have after my other previous jobs.”
Prior to her tenure, she said Falls Church had not been represented much in the Virginia Municipal Clerks Association. She made a point to attend every conference and served as president of the organization from 2010 to 2011. In 2008, the association also named her Clerk of the Year.
Since retiring last year, Mrs. Buschow now enjoys painting but remains involved with the Virginia Municipal Clerks Association. She recently donated one of her paintings for an upcoming silent auction.
When she’s not painting, she dedicates her time to the Falls Church Sisters’ Choice Quilters and the Falls Church chapter of Quilters Unlimited, which she has been active in for more than 25 years. She previously served as board member and treasurer of Falls Church Arts.
Much like his wife, Mr. Buschow has been a very active figure in the Falls Church community. He currently serves on the board of the Northern Virginia Parks Authority and is president of the Falls Church Lions Club, corresponding secretary for the Village Preservation and Improvement Society, and secretary of the Falls Church Scout House Building Association.
Last year, the Village Preservation and Improvement Society awarded the “Spirit of Falls Church” award to Mr. Buschow for his dedication to the community. In addition, he has been named the Lions Club “Lion of the Year” three times and received the 1999 Caroll V. Shreve Award for Meritorious Community Service from the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.
The 1967 George Mason High School graduate first moved to Falls Church in 1951 with his parents. After going away to college, Mr. Buschow spent some time away from Falls Church but returned in 1987 with his wife and his son, James, who also graduated from George Mason High School.
In his professional career, Mr. Buschow has served as a government contractor for 30 years. He currently works as a consultant on the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control initiative.
Mr. Buschow said it is an honor to serve as grand marshal with his wife. “I’ve marched in the parade when I was in high school, in the band, back in the day when we used to march down Broad Street, so I’ve known the parade for a long, long time,” he said.
For the last 20 or 25 years, he said he’s been volunteering at different booths during the parade. “I’m always working the Lions Club or the Village Preservation and Improvement Society booth, and so I never really get to see the parade,” he laughed. “So this will be one of the first years I really get to see the whole parade.”