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The Chillicothe Voice

Chillicothe’s Hometown Hero – Brandon, A Tribute.

Mar 29, 2023 10:46AM ● By Gary Sharp

For 20 years, almost 21, a young man grew, blossomed, and matured into a personality that influenced his family and many friends in a positive manner and left his mark on their hearts that will never be dissolved from their memories in the river of time. 

Each year of his life, before his tragic passing, he had the best teachers he could have had—his parents—who taught him values, principles, and morals and the importance of respect and compassion for all life. As he often tagged along with them, at firefighter meetings and 33 ambulance functions, he learned the meaning of sacrifice and duty. He grew to love the great outdoors—fishing, hunting, and being in nature—with his black Labs, Red and Teal. 

He was born in Peoria on May 3, 1999 to Mike and Francie Buckley, being the third in eventually a family of nine siblings— five boys and four girls. He was a bit of a prankster, but graduated from IVC after attending a regional alternative school in Peoria with all of his credits. He worked at Peters Landscaping and I3 Broadband and loved it. He was a Boy Scout and loved family trips in their trailer to The Great Smokey Mountains near Pigeon Forge, TN.    

When Brandon signed his organ donor card, it changed the lives of a multitude of recipients in 10 states and 2 countries—England and Chile—where skin tissue grafts, bone grafts, and tissue for damaged eyes and retinas gave the gift of sight back to two deserving people from Windsor and East Haven, Connecticut. Over 61 impaired people benefited from a small town, home grown Chillicothe boy after he left us on January 17, 2020 from an untimely and devastating all terrain vehicle accident. 

Brandon’s folks were not aware that he made the decision to donate, but it most assuredly came from all of their teachings. Two successful knee surgeries from Brandon’s donations, helped stop the pain and provide smooth mobility for recipients, who sent their heart felt and rendering appreciation to Brandon’s parents in letters. 

More than one million tissue transplants are done in the U.S. each year and the surgical need for tissue is rising. All people can be donors. When Brandon signed his card, he and all others who signed automatically became heroes of our society, heroes who might someday not only extend quality of life but life itself. What an unselfish and admirable gesture this was to his fellow humans. We say time heals all wounds, if that is true, then what most all of us need in life is precious time.

Brandon always thought very highly of John Sarver and looked up to him and his sons. Beau and Easton were among many friends that fit into a tight knit circle, that surrounded his life. Another great friend, from Princeville, who had a strong influence in Brandon’s life, was Cody Trueblood  who also sadly left this earth way too early. From the mutual friendship they had we can only hope these two old buddies are together now in a place of lasting peace. 

Organ Donor Month is recognized in April and the color purple will signify that everywhere with lighting, flags, banners, and more. Brandon’s father, Mike Buckley, is an ambassador for The Gift of Hope organization locally and can help you with information you might need. 

“The world is my country, all mankind are brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Thomas Paine. 

Although his life was cut short in his prime, it had profound purpose and was successful in helping his brothers and sisters in life. Somewhere now, when we close our eyes, we can see in our minds, a young angler battling a taught line and a bent rod full of catfish, bass, or crappie, or hear a duck call from a hunter in a blind, or the sight of a large canine lumbering toward his master with a monster goose in tow. In this paradise we know our hero is in his element and smiling with contentment. 

With all of his contributions to the betterment of the wounded and impaired and representing his hometown in a most stellar fashion, we must recognize his credentials as a true hometown hero, one in a class of many. There have been and always will be Hometown Heroes in Chillicothe of different walks, occupations, and stature, and now Brandon M. Buckley, a true credit to his community and soldier of compassion, joins those ranks. 

Rest in peace, Brandon.


Proclamation — City of Chillicothe

Donate Life Month

On March 13, 2023, Mayor Michael D. Hughes, signed a proclamation for April to be designated as “DONATE LIFE MONTH” in the City of Chillicothe. Mike Buckley, father of Brandon Buckley, is shown here receiving the proclamation from Mayor Hughes. 

In summary, the proclamation states that the City of Chillicothe recognizes the work of the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network in coordinating organ and tissue donation with families, hospitals, funeral directors and partners throughout our community.

We, as a community, can show our support by letting everyone know that April is National Donate Life Month with “Light It Up PURPLE.”  Install a purple light bulb and illuminate your window or doorway to show your support of organ, tissue, and eye donors and their families. And more importantly, register as a donor today to save lives and give the gift of hope to others. Text HOPE to 51555 to register.