John Bernard “Bernie” Bucking died peacefully at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Friday, May 18, 2012, with his loving family by his side.
Born on July 28, 1944, in the Netherlands to the late Willem and Margaretha Bucking, Bernie was one of seven children. When Bernie was eight years old, he moved to Canada from Holland with his family.
The farming family reached the shores of Canada via the Halifax harbor. They moved through Valleyfield to Timmins, and then to Iroquois where they laid roots that have run deep.
The “farm” as the family called it, was not just where Bernie grew up, but a place that he loved to return to visit, and weekly trips were made back to the “farm” to get milk, and have a visit.
Even though Bernie moved to Canada at the tender age of eight, he was very proud of his roots and heritage. He loved to discuss the old days, and reminisce about life in Holland.
Bernie grew up farming, in a busy household of five sisters, and a brother. Bernie could be a bit of a tease so you can imagine the teasing his sisters’ received; apparently it started at a young age. He was also known on occasion to miss the morning wake up call for chores which meant his sisters had to fill in.
Even after a day of farming, he must have had some energy left because in 1965, he met Sharon Grue at a country dance at Algonquin Hall and on July 1st, 1967, they were married. To this day you can see the love Sharon has for Bernie.
Bernie and Sharon have enjoyed children, grandchildren, and many memories with friends and family that they both cherish dearly. This July first would have marked 45 years of marriage an incredible accomplishment, and a milestone representing a wonderful life together.
They have many friends that they have cherished memories with of dances, cards, trips, and car rallies.
Bernie has held many roles throughout his lifetime, driving transport was the foundation, even owning his own haulage company at one time. He was always proud of his big rigs, and as kids we were always excited to get to hop in for a ride. He worked hard, and was away a lot, leaving very early in the morning, and returning late at night.
Eventually, Bernie moved out of the driver’s seat and into a dispatcher position at Canada Starch. As tough as it was to leave the road behind, he really enjoyed the dispatcher role. He was a detailed man and could see a situation from many different angles, while at the same time always respecting what it is like in the shoes of the other person. This is what made him a great supervisor, or manager.
Bernie enjoyed the remainder of his time at Canada Starch moving into a production supervisor role.He constantly upgraded his skills and knowledge to be able to stay in the game with the young lads that were working with him. He was a manager that was firm but fair.
Ironically the skills and abilities that brought him success throughout his career, were the exact skills he would need to embark on his post retirement career of driving bus, which was one of his most rewarding jobs.
He managed the kids on his bus, as he did before at work. Be firm, but fair, respect the other person, and have fun. These simple attributes gained Bernie many young fans and he was selected driver of the year by the children. It was an award he was very proud of. Bernie truly cared about the kids on his bus.
Incredible as well for all of the parents, that when you know your children like their driver what a relief it is to know your child is safe and cared for, such a ripple effect.
Bernie was a good provider to his family. They never wanted for anything. He worked hard and strived for what he wanted. His words were the law in the family home.
The most important thing that he had was his family. Though he may never have said it out loud he was really proud of his children’s accomplishments, and they are who they are now because they had a father like him.
Bernie was also a responsible contributing member of the community. He served on the fire department, the Knights of Columbus and most recently the Iroquois-Matilda Lion’s club. He enjoyed volunteering and was always eager to give back to the community, and be involved.
Bernie’s hobbies included golf, fishing, Nascar, and of course camping at Pleasure Park. For the Nascar trips, apparently what went to the track stayed at the track. Bernie loved those trips with his Nascar buddies. A race was never just a race, it was a great time with great friends. Bernie loved camping and he and Sharon had recently purchased a new camper. The two had many great times around the camp fire singing laughing and joking with great friends.
Bernie enjoyed fishing, and often took the green machine out on stump lake, or the boat out trolling for perch, and with any luck Johnny will keep that love of fishing alive.
Bernie served as mentor, role model, and true friend. More than anything else he was a Dad. His son Bill stated it so well when he said: anyone can be a Father, it takes an incredible man to be a Dad.
The legacy Bernie leaves is value of family, hard work, and a love of life and community. Strength is sometimes defined as how well you hide the pain, but even when we carried him he was the strongest man I know.
Bernie leaves to mourn his loving wife of 45 years, the former Sharon Grue, and his children Bill of Belleville, Kim and her husband Justin Lavender of Wellington and Linda Testerink of Iroquois.
He is survived by his sisters Corrie Byvelds (Tony) of Williamsburg, Adelaide Lindsay (Al) of Stittsville and Mary Coreau (Dave) of Arnprior, by his brother Otto (Nancy) of Prescott and by his brothers-in-law Ben Albers and Pierre Blais.
He will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Emma Bucking, Johnny Testerink, Chase and Cole Lavender and by his great-grandchildren Annabelle and Elizabeth along with many nieces and nephews.
Bernie was predeceased by two sisters Margaret Albers and Siny Blais.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home Iroquois on Monday, May 21, 2012, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Lions service was held at the funeral home on Monday evening at 6:45 p.m. Mass of the Christian Burial was at St. Cecilia’s R.C. Church on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 11a.m.
Donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital or the Cancer Society would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.