“My sister Tammy Bucklew and I wanted to honor our dad for his 80th birthday,” says Missy Hartsell. “We set up a legacy with Arthurdale Heritage to honor him and his life.”
Bill’s sister Joyce Bucklew Barnicle remembers that moving to Arthurdale was a big event. “We thought we had moved to heaven,” she said.
Coming from substandard housing in Hopewell near Newburg in 1951, their mom raised all five children who were still at home: Bill, Jim, Janet, Ed and Joyce. Their brother Bob was already on his own and their sister Barbara Jean had died in childhood.
After moving to Arthurdale, Bill took on the role of man of the house.
Others remembered that Bill had many friends in Arthurdale, but was always interested in earning a little more money for the family by baling hay, working with a contractor, or other jobs.
Ed recalls the support and care of a good number of the original homesteaders who looked after all of the children throughout the neighborhoods, which made the community so special.
At his surprise birthday party, Tammy and Missy presented their dad with this honor that will always tie him to Arthurdale. He was pleased.
Bill had a long career as a home contractor. He and Ed appreciated antique autos and were members of the Arthurdale Tire Kickers. The group helped AHI through acquiring the old items displayed in the Esso station and restoring the first bright red Co-op Tractor. It’s a beauty!
Joyce says, “He was a spiritual man and loved the beauty of our earth.”
Before he passed away in May, 2018, Bill’s melodious singing voice and talents with string instruments put him in the middle of many fun times, even back in school days. Ed remembers that Bill and others played and sang at school assemblies.
With three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren living in Arthurdale, his joy in living in this special place will not be forgotten.