First Responders 07

Troy Michael Buzzell

June 20, 1978 ~ February 1, 2021 (age 42)



Troy was born June 20, 1978 at Good Samaritan Hospital, San Jose, CA and passed away on February 1, 2021, in Los Gatos, CA. His life ending way too soon as he had so much more ahead of him to experience as husband and father.

Troy was raised in Santa Clara, CA. He graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School, 1996 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Chico, 2001.

In 2005, Troy fulfilled his dream career when he joined the Santa Clara Fire Department. He was a respected subject matter expert and technician in multiple firefighting, truck and rescue specialties, as well as being a qualified Hazardous Materials Technician, and Wildland Engine Boss. Troy always volunteered for extra assignments and was a dedicated team member of the FEMA California Task Force 3 (CATF3) Urban Search and Rescue Team, serving as a Rescue Specialist and Boat Operator. During his career Troy responded to countless emergencies and helped people at their most vulnerable, to include disaster responses with CATF3 to Florida during Hurricane Irma, Hawaii for Hurricane Lane and the Paradise Wildfire Complex. Troy rose quickly through the ranks of the Fire Department promoting to Driver Engineer, and ultimately serving as the Captain assigned to Truck 92 on C shift. Troy also served as a Chief Officer in the role of Assistant Training Officer. One thing that always stood out was Troy’s love for the profession and his desire to teach and mentor others whether it was teaching specialized rescue classes or as a member of the Fire Academy Instructor Cadres. Simply stated he was a true professional.

In 2007, Troy met his soul mate, Laurel Whisler. She was the love of his life, his moon and stars. They always told each other that they were put on this earth to find one another and that they were brought together by a higher power. In 2011, they were married at Laurel’s family home in Carmel, CA and began their journey as husband and wife. Together, they created two beautiful children, Clayton and Tate, and a loving and nurturing home in San Jose, CA to raise their family. Troy and Laurel had a true partnership. They appreciated the little things in each other and the little things in life. As a family, they enjoyed many vacations and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, snorkeling, and paddle boarding or just staying home and enjoying a delicious family meal they prepared together. One of Troy’s favorite places was in front of the barbeque. As parents, they supported Clayton in his many sporting activities, baseball, football and basketball with Troy coaching as his time and schedule permitted. Troy nurtured Tate’s passion for his swimming lessons and Lego creations. Troy was a devoted and loving husband and father; his life was complete.

As the son of Greg and Laurie Buzzell he brought them so much happiness and joy. They were always astonished and proud of his many accomplishments. Troy was their world. They will forever cherish all the wonderful memories he gave them through his 42 years and remember that beautiful smile and gregarious laugh to fill the huge hole in their broken hearts. They are grateful to have been able to be Mom and Dad to this extraordinary man. They will fondly remember celebrating each birthday with him, but especially his 40th birthday with his family in Kauai, HI.

Though Troy was an only child, growing up on Muriel Court, he lived next door to the Sloan Family, Dave and Joan, and their children Kelle, David and Michael, the sister and brothers he did not have. The Buzzell and Sloan families enjoyed many adventures together and eternal friendships were formed, especially Troy’s relationship with Michael, his best friend.

Troy excelled at anything he put his mind to. He was determined from birth and this determination is what led him through his many accomplishments in life. Whether this was baseball, fishing, his work as a firefighter, supporting the community, coaching or helping family and friends.

Troy is survived by his loving wife, Laurel and sons, Clayton and Tate. His parents Greg and Laurie Buzzell and in-laws Mark and Eileen Whisler. His grandparents Kendall and Lois Freitas, and Granny, Andree Forzani. His Uncle Woody Freitas and his family, wife Lisa, and children Joey and Lindsay, his Uncle Todd Buzzell and his family, wife Suzanne and children Ryan (Lorena) and Kerry (Mike). His sister-in-law’s Lindsey Whisler and daughter Riley and Tana Heydeman and her family, husband Drew and daughter Addison. His best friend, Michael Sloan and his surrogate brothers and sisters of the Santa Clara Fire Department family as well as many loving cousins and friends he considered family. His generous and loving spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our lives will never be the same without him.

Troy was predeceased by his great grandparents Willard and Rose Freitas, who cherished every moment with him, his grandparents Philip and Helen Buzzell and Great Uncle Gerald Freitas.

A memorial service is being planned to safely gather and celebrate the life of this extraordinary man. Further details will be posted to the Troy Buzzell Memorial Page on FaceBook. 

The Santa Clara Fire Department has set-up a go-fund-me account for Troy’s wife Laurel and their children Clayton and Tate.

To plant a tree in memory of Troy Michael Buzzell, please click here.


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