Eugene Kirt Buchs was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on August 25th, 1956, to Walter and Barbara Buchs.
Eugene Buchs, known as Gene to his family and friends, passed away on March 12th, 2022, at 65, in Lutz, Florida, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Gene is survived by his son John Michael Buchs (J.M.; aka Mickey) and his daughter Jessica Buchs (aka Lou), his loving wife Janet MacNealy, and her 3 children, Christina Preiss (aka Sweetie), Michael Preiss (#11), and Hailey MacNealy (aka Leroy). He is also survived by his older brother Mike Buchs (spouse Connie), his sister Sandi Boyer (spouse Bob), his youngest brother Walter (spouse Kama), his sister Marge Fulton (spouse Greg), and his sister Valerie VanOstenbridge (Spouse John; aka V.O.) and his loving nieces and nephews.
Gene spent the early years of his childhood growing up on Long Island, N.Y. It was a colorful and storied time in Massapequa, with many escapades that almost always included his best buddies, and cohorts in crime, Rich Baumann, and Bryan Vail. Then, in mid-1972 after Barbara married John Barber, the family moved to Jackson, MS. There Gene attended Wingfield High School, but went back to N.Y. and graduated from Massapequa H.S. in 1974. Gene became an ace auto mechanic with Ford Motor Co. after moving back to Mississippi, and in his spare time was an accomplished bartender. Eventually growing tired of being asked for “free” auto repair work from his family and friends, he moved to Pensacola, Florida to enroll in college. He graduated from the University of West Florida in 1987 with a degree in accounting and subsequently began his career with the I.R.S. After 33 years, and a series of well-deserved promotions, he retired from government service in 2020.
Gene was an athlete all of his life. In his prime, he was very passionate about playing racquet sports more than anything else, especially tennis. He even had an official USTA ranking at one point. Gene was also a formidable racquetball player, and later pickleball aficionado. He played baseball and football in his younger days, and then got into hockey and golf as he got older. As an avid professional hockey fan, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers critic, many spirited discussions and good-natured jabs were given and received by Gene.
He also was an animal lover, which started when he was a young child with his first dog Pudgy. Gene probably spent a small fortune buying food just so he could feed the deer in his back yard, and he could often be seen playing with or spoiling his present-day menagerie of pets, Deezle, Kingston, and Marcia.
Gene also had a never-ending sweet tooth. From his love for Cocoa Puffs as a youngster, to his affinity for sweet drinks with his favorite additive, Malibu Rum. And Gene always had his own style. Whether it was his fashion sense, his cars, or his opinions. He never had any trouble speaking up, and he usually had plenty to say. Was he opinionated? Yes, is the right answer, but always in a very thoughtful and kind way. He was a strong debater, and an even better listener, and would respect everyone’s point of view, even if he didn’t agree with it.
Gene would say that he had some regrets, that there are things he wishes he had done, there are a few things that he probably shouldn’t have done, and then there are oh so many more things that he was happy to have accomplished. But most of all, Gene loved his family, and his children were the pride and joy of his life. A devoted father, a loving husband, a selfless brother, a loyal friend, a dedicated coach, and a passionate spirit, Gene will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
In his own words, “Let me please remind you, that whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long! Life, goes by quickly. Do what you can, live for today! Say all the things that you want your loved ones to hear, and the things you want them to remember. Appreciate all the time you can spend with them. Live your life, and cherish what you have with those around you.”