Michael Buckley '72 November 30, 2020 4:05 PM updated: November 30, 2020 4:25 PM
Michael Jay Buckley
November 10, 1950 - November 21, 2020
Michael Jay Buckley, 70, beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great- grandfather, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, after a long struggle with kidney disease.
Michael was an identical twin with his brother Patrick, born to Betty Bob and Ernest Buckley on Nov. 10, 1950, in Fort Worth, Texas. With his father in the Air Force, Michael spent his early years traveling, living in Morocco, North Africa (returning to the states speaking a mixture of English, French, Arabic and twin language in 1954), and also living in Maine, before the family settled in Fort Worth in 1956.
Michael went to Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, graduating in 1968, then attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and freshman yell-leader at college. He and his twin brother Patrick roomed together at A&M and were known as "BuckBuck," because no one could tell them apart. They were lifelong best friends.
Michael received his master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1976. He began his career as a geotechnical engineer and continued working as a civil engineer throughout his life in Fort Worth, Austin, and Minneapolis. Most recently, he was utility coordinator for the SH 171/SH 121 intersection improvements and the IH35 reconstruction project.
In 1979, Michael met and married Marjory Rebecca Stark, an artist. Michael liked to tell the story of how he first saw Marjory on a Friday, while she was having lunch with girlfriends. He went over and asked if she would have lunch with him on the following Monday. They met for lunch after the weekend, but neither one could remember the other's name. Nevertheless, they wed eight months later and remained happily married for 41 years until his passing. Michael was exceedingly proud of his wife's creative work. Marjory calls Michael the love of her life.
Michael's greatest happiness was centered around his family life. He lovingly raised his children, Laura and Jerod, and participated as an active grandfather to his five grandchildren and to his many great-grandchildren. His family settled at DeCordova Bend Estates in Granbury, where he enjoyed golfing and boating. He also was an accomplished horseman in his youth and talked fondly during his final days about his horse, Red.
He was a man of deep Christian faith and organized Bible studies for his co-workers. His family remembers him as someone who never complained, who never spoke ill of anyone, and who bore his suffering with great courage. Every time his mother asked how he was doing, he would always say, "I'm doing great." His life was an exemplary one.
Michael was predeceased by his father Ernest Lynn Buckley in 1989. In addition to his wife, Marjory, Michael is survived by his 95-year-old mother, Betty Bob Buckley; his twin brother, Patrick, and his wife, Dianne; his sister, actress Betty Lynn Buckley; his younger brother, TV producer/director Norman Buckley; and his niece, Erin Buckley. In addition, he is survived by his children, Laura Frost, and her spouse, Ashley Roberts; and Jerod Hunt and his wife, Cheli Hunt; his grandchildren, Amber McDonald and her husband, Thomas McDonald; Cody Frost, Taylor Brown, Gracyn Hunt, Hudson Hunt, and five great-grandsons, Maddox McDonald, Dexter McDonald, Jaxson Frost, Creed Brown and Canyon Brown.
In his final days, Michael talked about the excellent care he received at Fresenius Kidney Care Granbury, Harris Southwest Hospital, and Kindred Hospital Southwest. The family is very moved by how many of the nurses and social workers who cared for him have spoken about how kind Michael was and how much he would be missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Kidney Fund at www.kindeyfund.org. A private service will be held next week, with a memorial service to follow in the new year for friends of the family.
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