Bob Buckavekas (1941-2022) loved to work on his British cars


Robert Buckavekas

Robert “Bob” W. Buckavekas, 80, Roscoe, met the love of his life, Barb Thomas, at Rockford Business School and they were married on May 16, 1964. Together they raised three children, Jeffrey, Julia, and Jennifer. When Bob would give Barb a ride home in his red MGA in minus degree weather, he would hand crank the motor to get it going. Though Barb was not too impressed with the lack of heat, it was an adventure they loved.

Bob passed away peacefully on Monday, July 18, 2022 at Alden Debes in Rockford, where he resided for the last 14 months. He was born in Rockford on November 11, 1941, the son of William and Catherine Buckavekas. Bob attended St. Patrick Catholic School, then St. Thomas Catholic High School, and graduated from Rockford West High School in 1959. 

For many years, Bob was employed by Barber Colman Company. Sadly, at only 40 years old he was forced to retire because of his slowly declining vision. Bob would say “I have lost my sight, but not my vision.” He enjoyed working on his 1976 MGB, putting in an overdrive transmission. He attended two transmission schools so that he could take on the challenge of changing the transmission himself. In 2000, Bob and Barb joined the British Boots and Bonnets Car Club, where they enjoyed the many car trips to interesting places around the Midwest, car shows and of course, many wonderful restaurants. 

Bob was always full of stories and great ideas. He loved to share them with anyone who was willing to listen. Some of these great ideas included getting go-carts and dirt bikes for his grandchildren. Bob would watch his grandchildren when they were younger and they have memories of always having the best snacks, listening to NASCAR races, and always having fun. Bob enjoyed life to the fullest and he will be dearly missed by his beautiful family.

Bob is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; his son, Jeffrey; his sister, Carol (Richard) Hart; his grandchildren, Stephanie (Kevin) King, Valerie Zambrano, and Tiffany (Karri) Turner; his great-grandchildren, Juliana Anderson, Karson King, Barrett King, and Maverick King, Reyna Bermudez, and Bailey Turner; his son-in-law, Rodney Kiesling; his nephews, Richard “Rick” and Rodney Hart. He was predeceased by his daughters, Julia Zambrano and Jennifer Kiesling.

The family has planned a private service. Cremation rites have been accorded. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family, for a tree to be planted in Bob’s memory. Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family with arrangements.

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