Bill Bucko is gone

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I saw this unfortunate status from Bill Bucko's Facebook account today:

Bill Bucko passed away of natural causes March 22, 2013. If you would like any other information concerning him, please send a private message.

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What saddens me most is that no one could find out about his passing until two months later (there are all kinds of unavoidable factors that can lead to this).

Bill was unique--fiery but focused, absolutely principled and absolutely unrepressed. An amazing man.

I have read many of his Facebook posts and his translation of The Mysterious Valley, but now I must read his fiction.

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That seems very sudden, and quite a shock. My condolences on the loss of an earnest and principled man.

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Bill and I had some experiences in common; shopping at the old Liberty Music in Ann Arbor, for example. So I searched for an obituary to see if there was anything more to learn about his life; I couldn't find one. I believe there must be at least a legal notice somewhwere. Just a curious thing.

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Ron Abramowicz, who is now managing the Bill Bucko's Facebook account, posted this memorial to Bill on Facebook, and gave permission to repost it here. I thought that it might be of value to those who knew Bill or enjoyed his writings here.


Bill Bucko was very private about his personal life. Keep such matters or queries on your own page or website. This Facebook page will be kept intact as a memorial to Bill. Please add any thoughts of him, or photos, or quotes.

Personal inquiries will continue to be answered. For those who offered their sympathies and thoughts privately; thank you! Bill didn't believe many tears would be shed after his passing: He was wrong.

His books were his passion. Reading and writing were his favorite activity. Though there may be glitches, all his past writings will remain in publication in addition to new and republications in the near future.

Bill was NEVER pretentious and he always had much patience for those willing to learn. He was never "William" or "Mr. Bucko". He was "Bill" to all (except his students, to whom he was "Mr. Bill").

Bill's writing career started very early in life. His talent resulted in scholarships to Purdue which allowed him to attain a Masters Degree in Philosophy. Part of that scholarship agreement was he was required to instruct. Bill refused to teach the bunk that was present in early 1970s college curricula.

He decided an alternative to honoring his agreement was teaching young fresh open minds as a Montessori teacher for many years. He even published a booklet on how to instruct Montessori as an Objectivist. This was the happiest era of his life. He always spoke fondly of "his" children. His fight against tyranny was for the future of his kids.

Bill kept EVERYTHING a child ever made for or wrote to him. His home had such drawings decorating every room. In addition, he scanned everything and kept it on his computer to constantly remind him of what he was fighting for and who he loved.

Bill had an incredible gift of an eidetic memory. He could simply close his eyes, put all five fingertips of his right hand on his temple, and within moments recall events, sounds, smells, and even complete passages from books verbatim. It was uncanny and he was never wrong.

His book writing and research collided in the '80s when he realized computers could help him with both. Combine that with his memory, organizational skills, a computer, and dozens of manuals, he became a self-taught Information Technician before the term IT became commonplace. He was valued as an employee for DuPont for many years and retired there.

During his entire adult life, Bill's greatest purpose was promoting Ayn Rand's ideas; especially Atlas Shrugged. As mentioned above, Bill was unpretentious. He rarely spoke of his great finds which included the discovery of The Mysterious Valley. That find is documented in the wonderful Oscar-nominated film "Ayn Rand a sense of life". Buy the DVD, it is very uplifting.

He also enveloped that discovery with the publication of all the original French books and periodicals Ayn Rand would have read as a child. Bill copied *all* of these in hi-def digital. His photo scans are incredible. It took him years to complete. If that was not enough, he also did French to English translations!!!

Most friends of Bill's who only know him from the internet or Facebook never knew of his wickedly funny humor. Bill was always smiling (and usually humming a good tune). He had a witty comeback for everything. He had a profoundly positive sense of life. He loved music, ideas, writing, and being around happy people.

Among his happiest pleasure (which included all his values) was attending the annual Michigan Renaissance Festival. Bill never told friends or acquaintances when he would be attending, if at all. Yet he always did! He would go incognito; you wouldn't have recognized him! He made his own costumes in 14th Century Italy by hand in authentic colors and fabric. He would bring a period guitar and sing his own songs inspired from his favorite era. His singing voice was very pleasant with beautiful poetic lyrics to boot. Keep posted here to hear tape copies of his songs.

As mentioned above; all Bill's writings will be in (and stay in) publication soon. Until then, one of Bill's best writings is below (scroll waaay down), on this Facebook page from June 10, 2011, from Dr. Jack Kevorkian's funeral, which Bill attended. Bill's greatest living hero was Dr. Jack. Bill wrote many letters to the editor supporting him over the years. Most were printed locally even though it remains a worldly, philosophically important issue.

After you read Bill's funeral notes below, immediately scroll back to the top here and view full-screen him with his large yellow sign. If it puts a lump in your throat, or a tear to your eye, he would have called you friend, and had your back.

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{written June 10, 2011 by Bill Bucko}
{photo of Bill was taken just a few weeks prior}
Memorial Service for Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Friday morning I was one of 200 – 250 people to gather in the lofty granite and stained glass mausoleum of White Chapel Memorial Cemetery in suburban Troy, Michigan. I had never been able to attend one of Dr. Jack’s trials, though I had written letters to the editor in his support. So I wanted now to pay him homage.
Several TV and radio crews were present. The audience was mostly middle and old aged, including several people with disabilities. One Vietnam veteran in a wheel chair wore a sweatshirt that read: “This is your brain on religion,” with a graphic of a tiny shrunken brain within a large head.
From the rear of the crowd I could see the flag-draped coffin (Dr. Jack had served in the Korean War), and to the left of it a photo of the elderly doctor smiling.
He was an atheist, so the service was entirely secular: no prayers, hymns or Bible readings. When I arrived someone was playing his favorite Bach music on a keyboard.
First to speak was the doctor’s niece. She spoke of him with great affection, describing him as an unpretentious man who loved ideas and was eager to speak with anyone else who did so, no matter who they were or the level of their education. She said that above all he loved and admired competence.
Then we listened to the woman who sheltered Dr. Jack from the press in her home for six months at the time of his fifth (and final) run-in with the law. She spoke of his kindness, his love of music, his playing the flute with her daughter, his lack of concern for worldly possessions (he arrived with only a toothbrush and change of underwear, and bought his clothes at the Salvation Army). She and her family kept in constant touch with him, during his eight years in prison.
Next to speak was Kevorkian’s second lawyer, Mayer Morganroth. (Conspicuously absent was flamboyant, controversial Geoffrey Fieger, his first lawyer, who secured the doctor’s acquittal in his first four trials.) Morganroth explained Dr. Jack’s motivation in facing his final murder trial without a lawyer: “I would rather lose by myself, than win with Geoffrey.” For once he wanted the issue of assisted suicide to be center stage, rather than have Fieger get him off on a technicality. Morganroth added that when the trial was nearly over, Dr. Jack did ask for his help, but Morganroth had to tell him sadly, “It’s too late.” The doctor still hoped to win on appeal, but his hopes were dashed. Morganroth described how, on one visit to Dr. Jack in prison, the other inmates caught sight of Dr. Jack in the courtyard and (more just than Michigan’s corrupt judicial system) they cheered him. Morganroth compared the doctor to a voice crying out like Paul Revere’s.
He described how the doctor, in Korea, conceived the idea of saving lives on the battlefield by using the dead for transfusions to the living. Never one to expect more from others than he did from himself, he experimented on himself—which is how he contracted Hepatitis C, for which no screening existed in that era. He described Dr. Jack’s support for the hospice movement, and for his favorite charity, the Salvation Army, which he admired because they helped people no matter what their ideas or creed.
The last man to speak praised Dr. Jack as a hero for his courage, for having what so many lack: a backbone, a spine.
Finally we were told that the interment would be private, but we were invited to step forward and lay a hand on the coffin in farewell, if we wished. I did so, with a lump in my throat. There were very few flowers, but I noticed one display, bearing the card “To dearest uncle.”
Then the service was over. But the crucial issue Dr. Jack raised and championed, let us hope, is not over. The words that kept coming to my mind were from John Galt’s speech, in "Atlas Shrugged;" I don’t know if Dr. Jack ever read them, but he should have:
“For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors—between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.”


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