Susan Warner Thomas Buchman Castner

September 13, 1933March 28, 2021

Susan Warner Thomas Buchman Castner, 87, passed away at home, surrounded by her family on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021, from ovarian cancer. Born to Martha Wooten Warner and Julian Johnson Thomas in Nashville, TN on September, Friday the 13th of 1933, she attended Parmer Elementary School, Ward Belmont High School, now Belmont University and Holten-Arms School, for two years, in Washington D.C., before graduating from Vanderbilt University.

In 1955, she married her Vanderbilt classmate, James Johnson Buchman, Sr., remaining in Nashville where they had their first son, Vernon. In 1959, they moved to Chicago, IL for Jim’s work with General Electric, and then later that year, to Savannah, GA, for The Savannah Machine and Foundry Company. In 1961, they had their second son, Jimmy. Subsequently, they opened The Shop of John Simmons, which later became The Briar Patch, a gift and decorative accessories store chain of 42 stores. Susan continued her Nashville association with the Junior League while in Savannah, where the family was a member of Christ Church Episcopal and later, Independent Presbyterian Church, as well as members of the Savannah Yacht Club, the Chatham Tennis Club, The Savanah Golf Club, Chatham Club and the Oglethorpe Club. One of her greatest accomplishments, in terms of effort expended and appreciation by the beneficiaries, was encouraging her two sons and a grandson to complete the requirements of the Eagle Scout Award, earned by less than 5% of all Boy Scouts of America, and she wore her Eagle pins with pride.

She and Jim were divorced in 1979, and she returned to Nashville in 1981, where she enjoyed closer relationships with her large Nashville family, lifelong friends, and where she was reintroduced to, and was married to Vanderbilt classmate Harold (Hap) Joy Castner in 1987, for 34 years. An avid tennis player, gardener, reader and bridge player, she and Hap attended St. George’s Episcopal Church, and were members of the Belle Meade Country Club. She was a member of the Wednesday Weeders Garden Club, a book club, and a volunteer with St. George’s This and That Store, as well as Meals on Wheels. She relished spending time with her “First Grade Club,” several of her childhood friends with whom she attended first grade, and kept in touch no matter where they lived, and who still gather regularly.

Susan was remembered by family and friends for her strong sense of values and morals. She loved taking care of people, and her hospitality, warmth and genuine care for those whom she loved were reflected in several kind remembrances where they said they considered her their second mother. She loved entertaining, and always had an open door for friends, family, or friends of her family. One of her children’s and grandchildren’s favorite memories are catching up at the round dining table over the sausage-and-biscuits breakfasts, and identifying the birds visiting their several feeders in the back yard.

She is survived by her husband, Harold (Hap) J. Castner, two sons, Vernon L. Buchman II (Rebecca) of Savannah, GA; James (Jim) Johnson Buchman, Jr. (Anne) of Columbia, SC; three grandchildren, Warner Elizabeth Buchman, James J. Buchman III, also an Eagle Scout, and Hannah Marie Buchman; and niece and nephew Martha (Marti) Thomas and Julian J. Thomas Jr. (Kim). The family would like to express our sincere thanks for the loving care provided by her Blakeford friends, Jamie Irving, Fran Sherrill and Debbie Mulcahy, and Lisa Amos of Alive Hospice.

A memorial service will be held at St. George’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, April 10 at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Please take a moment to offer condolences to the family below or to share your fondest memory.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 10, 2021


Susan Warner Thomas Buchman Castner

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ann Northcutt

April 14, 2021

Dear Hap and family of Susan,
I was so sorry to hear about Susan and send my sympathy to all of you.My parents Ann and Green Benton were very close friends with Susan's parents Martha and Jule Thomas and we spent lots of time together growing up. My Mother and Martha were related through the Warner side of the family.
After I moved to Rochester, MN we lost touch unless I visited and was over at Mary and Paul Stumbs.
You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Ann Benton Northcutt

Diane Hooper

April 7, 2021

I worked for Susan for over 20 years and she became such a great friend and was like my second mother. She was my confidant and we went thru so many life events together. There is a hole in my heart. I will miss talking to her. But I am so happy she isn’t suffering anymore. My condolences to the family. She loved you guys so very much. You meant the world to her.

patsey reed

March 30, 2021

I'm so sorry for us to have lost Susan. She was such a special person - delightful to be with and a friend to all.
I played tennis with her for years and am grateful for many happy memories of those times!
My deepest sympathy and love to her family,