John (Jack) (Bucky) Albert Buchholtz died peacefully at home in Davenport, Florida, after a lengthy illness at the age of 76 on March 18, 2019, surrounded by family.  Jack was born on June 13, 1942, in Zion, IL, and delivered by Miss Ellen Lloyd at his parents’ home.  Jack was preceded in death by his parents, John Henry Buchholtz and La Verne Gray Buchholtz, of Zion; his son, Steven Buchholtz, of Chicago; and his uncle, Herbert Buchholtz, and his wife Evalyn Buchholtz of St Paul, MN.

He is survived by his wife, Nadine Richards Buchholtz; children, Nancy Buchholtz of Woodstock IL, Vickie Esch of Kenosha WI, and Amy Hayduk (Cole) of Littleton CO; his brothers, Gilbert (Gibbie) Buchholtz of Zion IL, and William Buchholtz Allison (Carol) of Chicago, IL. Grandchildren, Scott Esch, Veronica Brothers and Wade Ollila, of Kenosha WI, and Albert “True” Hayduk of Littleton, CO.

He is also survived by step-children, Cindy Lother Pencak and Alan Lother (Shannon); step-grandchildren, Leah Crockett (Ron); Natalie and Katrina Lother; and step-great grandchildren, Arthur and Emma Harvey and Oliver Crockett.  Also surviving are Gilbert John Buchholtz, Tammie Balmes, and Scott Buchholtz and their children and his aunt Evelyn Buchholtz Schultz and her husband John of Zion, IL, and their family members.

Jack graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School in 1960.  While in high school he excelled in wrestling and making many life-long friends.

After several years of working at OMC in Waukegan, Jack felt his calling was to be a police officer and first started on Winthrop Harbor’s police force.  He then moved in 1968 to the Zion Police Department where he spent many years as a dedicated and respected officer.  For several years he was a Canine Officer partnered with Chico, a German Shepard. His most famous words were “Let’s go Rookie.” Anyone with less than seven years on the department was a rookie to John.  After a few years of retirement due to a back injury, he returned to the Zion Police Department working as a Community Service Officer until 2001.  He loved the department.  He was known as “Bucky” to all.

From teenage hood on Jack was an avid motorcyclist and in 1980 became a member of the Blue Knights and was an active member to his dying day.  In Zion he was a member of Illinois VIII and X.  Moving to Florida he became a member of Florida V in Polk County.  He was always diligent and careful on his motorcycles and could be seen avoiding cracks and water in the road, and always, always other drivers.  Very active, he was an officer in all chapters including President.

Jack was above all, a friend.  He had friends near and wide and of course there were those special friends.  And as a friend he was extraordinary.  He would travel hundreds of miles to see someone important to him.  To name them all and leave one out would be tragic so that is all that will be said, but be sure you are known.

He was very interested in Zion History and could be seen sitting with his father-in-law, Paul Richards, discussing old times, Zion history, farming and so much else.  He also loved his family history and would travel the Midwest to find information.  Ultimately his research found its way into a book authored by a distant relative.  And, after moving to Florida, he became friends with a gentleman who led him to learn about Florida’s history also.

In 1987 Jack married Nadine Richards Lother and their marriage lasted nearly 32 years.  Thought they had gone to high school together, they really did not know each other until they were on the committee planning their 25th high school reunion to be held in 1985.  Subsequently, in December 1986, they ran across each other and the rest was history.  Through the years they remained on the Reunion Committee and forged lasting and loving relationships with the rest of the members.

They lived in Zion until 1991 when they built a house with five acres on Kilbourne Road in Newport Township at the other end of Nadine’s parents’ farm and lived there until the end of 2003 when they moved to Davenport, Fl.  While on the Kilbourne Road Jack bought antique John Deere farm equipment, built the horse barn and a barn for machinery.  Fenced a pasture and proceeded to acquire a Foundation Quarter Horse, Storyteller, and a Welsh Pony, Prince.  He also rented another 80 acres and raised and baled hay selling it to horse owners.  He had always wanted to farm and now his dream had come true.  A happy man.

Moving to Florida was not in his plans but it happened and he was happy in Windmill Village and became involved in the Citizens’ Assisted Patrol (CAP) program with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.  As a Coordinator he was in charge of large number of patrol members and his dedication was so outstanding that in 2013 He was named as Volunteer of the Year by Sheriff Grady Judd.  A significant honor.  There too he was a member to his dying day.  And there too, he loved the program.  He also had a warm and close friend who he was going to grow old with.  Old came too soon.

Several days before his death, he was led in the Sinner’s Prayer by his nephew, Scott Buchholtz, and accepted Christ as his personal savior.  What a Blessing this is to his family.

A memorial service will be held on May 15, 2019, at Christ Community Church at 2 pm with visitation between 1 and 2 pm.  Pastor Mike McDowell will officiate the ceremony.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate his life and arrival in Heaven.  In lieu of flowers donations to Camp Zion would be much appreciated.  Family members would like to thank Vitas Hospice in Florida for the kind and loving care during his last days.

He will be missed.