Michael L. Buckles, 59

Michael Lynn Buckles passed away at his home, surrounded by family, in Broken Bow, Sept. 21, 2013, at the age of 59. Mike is predeceased by his parents, Bob and Mary Frances. Mike was born to Bob and Mary Frances Buckles Dec. 4, 1953, in Martin, S.D. Mike lived in Merriman, where he attended elementary school. He went on to graduate from Bennett County High School in Martin, S.D. in 1972, excell-ing in basketball, football and track, recently being inducted into the Bennett County Athletic Hall of Fame. During his time at Bennett County he met and fell in love with his future wife, Kimberly. He continued on to receive his bachelor’s degree in education from Huron College, Huron, S.D., where he also played football. He started his teaching and coaching career in Ipswich, S.D., where he was the P.E. teacher and head football coach, and amusingly reflected on how he made $500 a month. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Kim, in 1977, they moved to Kearney where he received his Masters from Kearney State College (UNK) and was also a graduate assistant with the football program. Upon completion of his degree he continued his career at North Platte High School where he taught history and was the sophomore basketball coach. Both of his sons, Jason and Tigh, were born during this time. Although he enjoyed North Platte he sought career advancement and accepted the head basketball coaching position at O’Neill High School in O’Neill. He left O’Neill for Sidney, as a better opportunity presented itself for his family and his career. He was the head basketball and assistant football coach from 1990-1996. Some memorable moments included his 1993 basketball team reaching the state tournament and the 1994 football team reaching the state semi-finals. In 1995 he moved his family to Broken Bow, where he taught P.E. and history and was the head basketball coach from 1995-2010. During this time he enjoyed coaching both of his sons and had the opportunity of taking them, along with the team, to the state tournament in 1999. In addition he was the assistant track and cross country coach. He ended his coaching career in Broken Bow in 2010, after reaching his 35 year milestone. Students, friends and family will always remember his love of music, whether in basketball practice, in the classroom or at home where his iPod was constantly playing. Mike was equal parts teacher and coach and spent his life trying to effect positive change in his students and student athletes. He will be remembered most for his love of life, positive attitude and genuine caring of other people. Mike is survived by his loving wife, Kim, of 36 years; sons, Jason of Merriman, and Tigh of Lincoln; and brother, Bob and family of Ainsworth. Funeral services were Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Broken Bow with Father Jim Hunt officiating. A wake service was held Sept. 23 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Broken Bow. Burial was Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Martin Cemetery in Martin, S.D., with Father Bryan Sorensen officiating. Memorials may be made to the family to be designated at a later date.Published in Custer County Chief, Sept. 26, 2013