The world lost one of the good ones when James Madison Buckelew lost his battle with Melanoma on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Jim, or “Uncle Jimmy” as he is known by his nieces and nephews, was born on April 19, 1946 in Houston, Texas, however lived most of his life in Oklahoma City. He leaves behind his loving wife of 55 years, Wanda Buckelew, two sons, Scott (Edmond) and Chris (OKC) and their wives Andrea and Nikki, grandchildren Jamie Buckelew (Edmond), Kaleb & wife Kristin Vincent (OKC), Dakota & husband Zac Serhus (Austin, TX), and great grandchildren Layla, Maverick, Eli (Austin, TX) and Kate (OKC).
Jim graduated from Bishop McGuinness High School and later served as an Army Reservist. Jim had several odd jobs, but he had special memories of his time at Beef ‘n’ Bun. He spent his professional career working mostly in the film industry, as a buyer for Video Theaters and later managing many local movie theaters until his retirement in 2014.
Jim and Wanda married on September 9, 1967 and raised their two boys in Oklahoma City. Family meant everything to Jim and he spent his time following retirement playing golf with cousins, volunteering with both sons, reading the newspaper, suspense novels and ensuring his close and extended families stayed connected. Ready to assist a family member in need, support his sons in any endeavor, he was known to drop by to see family at home or work, organize many cousin lunches, and always wanting to know how everyone was doing.
Kindness is a most often used word to describe Jim. He was the first friendly face at the Senior Living Truth Series for the past eight years, always offering to assist a lending hand to family and friends, and the master of restaurant fundraisers for Edmond Ambucs. Jim loved to meet people and make a positive difference wherever he went.
Vacations were important to Jim. He never missed an opportunity to travel to see grandchildren in Austin or Wichita Falls and enjoyed taking them to nature parks, fishing, to feed the ducks, or splash in the pool. He enjoyed a friendly (or not so friendly) game of hand & foot, traveling to state parks for wedding anniversaries, and spending time with family doing just about anything.
Many trips were taken to Lake Texoma and Tenkiller to enjoy time on both son’s boats, to the casino with friends (where he would only spend $20), and most recently, attending Ambuc conferences where he also got to play golf and meet new friends. He was always looking forward to the next big trip.
The grand and great grandchildren will have amazing memories of him in his Santa hat at Christmas or a birthday hat at their parties. He was always ready to celebrate – sometimes with lottery tickets or by wearing a festive sweater. Time at home with them was usually spent on the patio feeding the birds, giving treats to the neighbor’s dogs or manning his grill.
Being the ultimate list and paper file maker, Jim was never far from his pen and paper. He organized every bill, receipt, and appliance manual. He wrote out grocery and to do lists, places to see and even a list of honored pallbearers. To the very end, he was working through a list.
Our family patriarch was a true gentleman, hard-working, respected, kind and very much loved.
In honor of Jim, the family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers you could consider a donation to Edmond Ambucs. Donations can be sent to PO Box 1336, Edmond OK 73083.
The family thanks all the medical teams who helped with diagnostics, care and treatment, as well as the many doctors, nurses, aides, techs, and clergy of Mercy Hospital that helped our family navigate our goodbyes with such love, kindness, and compassion.
There will be a memorial service at 1pm on Saturday, February 25th at Highland Hills Baptist Church in NW OKC.