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Life Story / Obituary
Full of life and always equipped with a smile to brighten someone’s day, Wesley “Jack” Buckallew was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He loved to surround himself with loved ones as well as ensure that everyone was made to feel comfortable in his presence. Jack was known for being generous beyond measure often putting others first. Known for his faithful commitment to the community he loved, his positive outlook on life and his warm personality will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Reflecting on the 1940s, they were characterized by WWII. In the year Jack was born, the Pentagon, considered to be the world’s largest office building was completed. Due to shortages, America experienced its first rationing of canned meats, butter, cheese, and cooking oil. Although the nation was in the midst of the war, the Glenn Miller Orchestra continued to release hit after hit. Delighted beyond measure, Gerald and Florence welcomed home their newborn son, Wesley “Jack” on November 28, 1943, in Vicksburg, Michigan. His birth brought much hope and happiness to his loving parents over the years.
Growing up, Jack lived a typical childhood of the times and enjoyed his time on a farm. Born with the innate ability to fish and to swim, he spent many long summer days and evenings surrounded by inland lakes in the area. A natural athlete, Jack enjoyed playing basketball, running track, and pole vaulting during his early adolescence. Never one to remain idle, he worked water rescue and also did some diving as a teenager. Graduating from Vicksburg High School, Jack set off for Kellogg Community College. A natural charmer, Jack landed many successful jobs as a salesman in his early years helping him afford tuition.
Little did he know that college would also land him his dream girl! Once he laid his eyes on Cynda, the rest was history. She noticed his glances from across the campus cafeteria and motioned him to come talk to her. They began chatting and before you know it he was walking her out to the car of gentlemen who was taking her home as her car was in the shop. Their instant connection was hard to go unnoticed and before they knew it they were dating. Eager to start their lives together they joined in marriage on June 13, 1964. Together they raised two wonderful sons; Jeff and Mark.
As a family, they enjoyed traveling together nearly every summer. They took many memorable vacations across the country. Traveling to Washington DC, Kentucky, New York, Colorado and up to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula for camping, there was never a dull moment when they were together! As a father, he instilled in his children the values of hard work and modeled a strong faith life. He also encouraged them to set out to accomplish whatever they wanted in life. Nothing brought him greater happiness to share in their successes. He remained active during their developing years as a Cub Scout leader as well as attended each and every sporting event they enjoyed over the years. He provided for his family through his work as a successful salesman. Jack was never one to let his work get the best of him. Instead, he focused on what mattered in life and most of the time that meant having fun! He was quite a trickster and loved to tease. His good-natured personality made even the most challenging of times turn out positive in the end.
Jack had many life passions. He treasured his days as a Sunday school teacher as well as his involvement with being the president of the Lions Club. He faithfully worked out at the YMCA and many years ago started the Lions Club 5k race. His proudest accomplishment aside from the race was starting the annual Christmas dinner where the Cub Scouts brought presents. For many years he and Cynda enjoyed time on their boat, Happy Jack, cruising Lake Michigan. He never grew tired of the water. Between spending time on the farm or spending time on the water, either way, Jack’s heart was content.
When it came to his favorite pastime however there is no doubt it was his family, especially his grandchildren. They were the light of his world. He loved each and every one of them with everything he had. Spending time with them each and every holiday or out on the farm brought him the greatest joy. He shared with them his many interests and they savored his wisdom over the years. When it came time for relaxing, Jack favored watching boxing and was never without a bowl of fresh popcorn! Simple in every way, Jack lived his life to please others. His greatest legacy will be the grace he modeled in his daily life. He will be deeply missed by his special family and many close friends and his memories will be cherished forever.
Wesley “Jack” Buckallew, age 75, of Vicksburg, Michigan passed away on March 17, 2019. He was an active member of Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Jack is survived by his loving wife: Cynda Buckallew; children: Jeff (Kim) Buckallew and Mark (Mary) Buckallew; grandchildren: Jordan (Lindsey) Buckallew, Chris, Daniela, Jason, and Braiden Buckallew. Jack is preceded in death by his parents: Gerald and Florence Buckallew; twin brother: Joe Buckallew; sisters: Beverly Schuring and Alice Dibble; and grandchildren: Micah and Jacob Buckallew. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 21 from 4 pm – 7 pm at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main St. Vicksburg, MI (269-649-1697). A memorial service will be held the following day, Friday, March 22, at 11 am at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Vicksburg Cemetery. Please visit Jack’s page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can sign the guestbook, archive a photo, and share a memory. Those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the American Diabetes Association.