Obituary: RICHARD FRANK “BUCK” BUCKLEN
January 12, 1936 – November 30, 2021
Richard Frank “Buck” Bucklen, 85, of Greeley, Colo. died Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Greeley Hospital.
He was born Jan. 12, 1936, in Denver, Colo. to Richard Carl and Dora Evangeline “Dode” (Barker) Bucklen.
On Oct. 26, 1958, he married Suean Marie Cowan in Greeley. They were married 45 years until Suean’s death in 2003.
Buck was raised on a farm in Karval where he learned to operate equipment and was responsible for many farm chores. He was educated in both Karval and Hugo, Colo., graduating from Hugo High School in 1954. He played baseball, football and basketball and excelled at woodworking in shop class, building several desks, end tables and a gun display case. After graduation he served in the army for two years in Germany. He continued to serve in the Army Reserve until 1962.
Buck attended Central Business College in Denver, Colo. where he met Suean. They married and moved to Greeley, where they had three children, Judy, Michael and Randall.
Buck was a lifetime member of the Elks and an avid golfer. He also won awards in Trap and Skeet Club shooting in the early 1960s. Buck earned his pilot license and owned two planes which he enjoying flying for business and to visit family. He remained involved at the Greeley airport volunteering for the air show programs.
Early in marriage, Buck and Suean managed Greeley Sand and Gravel (a family business) with Suean’s family. In 1976 they formed their own company, Bucklen Equipment Company, Inc. (a gravel mining, trucking, and demolition company). Buck enjoyed operating heavy equipment, spearheading major demolition projects (10th Street K-Mart and tearing out entire downtown city blocks), and building and growing his business from the ground up with his wife, children, and eventually his grandchildren, in order to leave a family business legacy. Buck never officially retired and even in the last few years, he continued to offer business advice and wisdom to his family.
Throughout his life, Buck could be found fishing, hunting, and camping with his friends and family. He enjoyed waterskiing, boating, and four-wheeling. He was a great contributor to and patron of the Greeley Stampede. He enjoyed attending rodeos and concerts in his skybox and sharing the enjoyment with many of his friends every year. Buck continuously supported the 4H program by attending the Annual Lincoln County Fair and often purchasing the Grand Champion animals. He was a Harley Motorcycle enthusiast and participated in many charitable motorcycle runs.
Buck was a lifelong patriot and spent many days riding his bright orange Harley Davidson with a huge American flag on the back to the VFW to dine with friends. He even contributed to the construction of the yard at the VFW 2121 and kept them well-supplied with popcorn by frequently replacing the popcorn machine.
For the last several years, Buck was lovingly cared for in his home by his caregivers – MaryAnn, Jodi and Tawnya – to whom his family is deeply grateful.
Survivors are a daughter, Judy May and husband Ronnie; two sons, Michael Bucklen and Randall Bucklen and wife Lori; four grandchildren, Ashlie Clark and husband Daniel, Darren Bucklen and wife Stephanie, Demi Bucklen and Michael Bucklen, Jr.; five great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Brynlee, Talitha, Jane, and Nathan; a brother-in-law, Ralph Cowan and wife Barbara; all of Greeley, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. An infant son, Donald Eugene Bucklen, his wife, Suean, and his parents are deceased.
Interment will be Saturday, December 11th, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Greeley – the burial service will include Military Honors.
Services will follow at noon at Bethel Baptist Church, 2307 17th Ave, Greeley, with a lunch reception immediately following.
Friends may visit from 4-7 p.m., Friday, December 10th at Allnutt Macy Chapel at 6521 W 20th St, Greeley.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to VFW 2121 in care of Allnutt Funeral Service Macy Chapel at 6521 W 20th St, Greeley.