Members of Restoring Women Outreach remember former warden and addiction recovery advocate Brian Buegler after his passing Jan. 3

Brian pictured in 2019 (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Brian Buegler, warden at the Cullman County Detention Center for 27 years, passed away on January 3, 2022 at the age of 71. Buegler focused greatly on addiction recovery during his career. He saw the implementation of several programs designed to help inmates battling addiction: Rehabilitation, GED classes and other counseling. He helped with the construction of a new jail and made sure meeting rooms for classes like AA were included.

Buegler began visiting the Restoring Women Outreach group, a 12 step-based residential sober living program, in 2011 when it was founded by Buegler’s friend Carol Berry.

Carol met Brian in 2006. She said, “He was in recovery, he didn’t hide that. He was always trying to take recovery into the jail and into the community. He just believed in what I was doing and wanted to help.”

Carol and her husband Johnny were both dear friends of Brian. They were contacted by employees of the jail with their condolences and to let them know Buegler’s legacy is still being carried out.

Buegler was committed to recovery and to RWO. He will be missed by all of the members and staff. Brian had dinner with the group every Wednesday night. Betty Snow Dunn first met Brian at the Cullman Jail when she was struggling with addiction. She said, “He was very special to all of us. When I went to the program, on Wednesday nights, he would take us to eat ice cream. We cooked for him every Wednesday night just as something to give back to him.” Dunn continued, “There’s nothing bad I can say about him. He touched so many lives. He would come and sit with us and never judged us.”

The RWO group helped Brian move out of his house when he moved into Westminster Assisted Living, where many members would often visit Brian. Dunn said that he was a part of their family.

A funeral service at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, in Cullman, is scheduled for Thursday, January 13. Visitation will be 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. with a rosary to follow and a mass at 10:00 a.m. A burial at Duck River Cemetery will ensue after the services.

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