Jared Buker, 45, of Lincoln
LINCOLN — Lego-boy, Muffin Man, lover of Monarch butterflies, adventurer, friend, nephew, cousin, uncle, brother, son… We mourn your passing with sad and heavy hearts.
Jared Buker, 45, of Lincoln, was the type of travel agent that all travelers dream of working with. Not only would he design the perfect trip for his clients, but he would also include many personal details and suggestions because more often than not he had already visited those places. Over his 26-year career as a travel agent, he worked for many travel agencies around the United States, as well as a being a home-based agent with Nexion Travel, which allowed him the freedom to work while traveling himself.
Jared was always interested in politics on both the national and local level and supported environmental and climate issues, social and racial justice, and all of Bernie’s campaigns. He served as a Justice of the Peace in Lincoln, a deacon for the United Church of Lincoln, as well as on the board of Lincoln Sports for many years; following his parents’ and his Gramma and Grampa Roods’ footsteps.
Jared was a devoted Monarch butterfly conservationist. His family’s meadow is a certified Monarch By-way and is managed to encourage milkweed growth during the Monarch migration. He was always so excited at his first Monarch sighting of the year, which this year was the day before he died. Many of the sympathy cards we’ve received have mentioned how Jared’s passion for Monarchs changed how they manage their own fields and yards, and how when they see a Monarch crossing their path they take it as a personal greeting from him.
Jared struggled with drug addiction since 1998 — nearly half of his life. For 21 of those years, he struggled with Crystal Meth addiction. He was in rehab four times over the past 14 years and lived in several sober houses in Minneapolis. In one sober house, he sadly watched a friend die of a drug overdose. Even that traumatic experience couldn’t keep him safe from this horrible disease. He was able to have anywhere from 24 hours to 1 year of ‘clean time’ during those 22 years of addiction. Crystal Meth was his deadly, constant companion and stole so much of his joy, his friends, his family, and ultimately his life. From the first time he tried it, he was a slave to its power.
Jared loved his family so much, including many shelties throughout the years. He is predeceased by his Grandfather and Grandmother Buker and Aunt Barbara from Oklahoma and Gramma and Grampa Rood of Lincoln. He is survived by his parents, Jan and Steve Buker; his sister and her partner, Jenn Buker and Scott Crossley; his two nephews and their father, Grayson, Preston and Brandon Connel; and his beloved Auntie Ali, along with many other family members.
In lieu of flowers, the family is collecting donations to send to Charco Verde Park and Butterfly Aviary in Ometepe, Nicaragua. Jared visited this butterfly sanctuary twice with a passionate heart and happy tears in his eyes. In one joyful Facebook post he exclaimed, “Butterfly Farm in Ometepe — I was in heaven.” We can think of no better way to honor his life.
The family is preparing a physically distant celebration of life at their home in Lincoln on Aug. 1 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (with a rain date of Aug. 2 between 1 and 5 p.m.) for anyone that would like to celebrate Jared’s journey with them. Please wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen, bring a mask, and prepare to spend a total of about 20-45 minutes on a walk through their Monarch Meadow. Golf carts will be available for those that are unable to walk this distance. In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it is preferred that you contact Jared’s sister, Jenn at email@example.com or 802-349-6292 to request a time slot for your journey through the Monarch Meadow, for information on how to donate to the Butterfly Farm or for directions to the Monarch Meadow. We also request that you hug from a distance at this time. All are welcome.◊
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