James ‘Jim’ Buckner lifeless: ex-Chicago Urban League president, dentist, businessman, longtime AYSO, club soccer volunteer

When Jim Buckner’s father Clarence became a dentist in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the 1920s, Black professional medical industry experts there experienced issues discovering an office environment in which to practice.

“He truly practiced dentistry out of his car or truck and would travel to a patient’s house and assist them that way,” mentioned Jim Buckner’s son, Jordan Buckner.

Just after shifting to Chicago, Mr. Buckner, like his father, worked as a dentist.

He also opened grocery stores and journey businesses and served on the board of the Town Colleges and Seaway, a person of Chicago’s 1st and biggest Black-owned banks, and often ferried the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to and from O’Hare Airport, his family claimed.

Mr. Buckner also served as president of the Chicago City League, for which he lobbied to get more Black staff into the constructing trades, and hosted conferences at his dwelling for Operation Breadbasket, which pushed for Black using the services of at big businesses.

Mr. Buckner, 86, died June 7 at his Hyde Park home of kidney failure, according to his daughter JaSaun Buckner.

James D. Montgomery, a Chicago lawyer and previous City Hall company counsel, mentioned, “He was an all-close to excellent citizen.”

Always lively, Mr. Buckner learned to skydive, scuba dive and ride a bike in his 70s and was a soccer mentor for hundreds of little ones in Hyde Park, coaching and refereeing games for a long time.

“A week ahead of he died,” his husband or wife Kimberly Eddington-Nance said, “he was on the soccer industry preserving score.”

Younger Jim grew up in Vicksburg, where by he attended “the Black college,” Bowman Substantial College.

“Everything was segregated,” said his good friend and fellow Vicksburg native Bettye Odom, founder of Bettye O working day spa in Hyde Park.

He went to Virginia State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then analyzed dentistry at the College of Illinois in Chicago, getting classes at its old area at Navy Pier, his daughter reported.

Mr. Buckner operated a dental business office at 50th Road and State Street and a different at the Harbor Position condominiums near the Columbia Yacht Club. His clients incorporated singer Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney Houston.

Mr. Buckner owned Meals Basket grocery merchants at 87th Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Push and on 79th Street in South Shore, in accordance to his daughter, who stated he also operated travel businesses at Harbor Position and on 87th Avenue.

When his sons Jordan and Justin bought involved with soccer, he started coaching American Youth Soccer Organization groups. His players would apply on the Halfway Plaisance and engage in at Jackson Park. About the decades, Mr. Buckner also coordinated schedules and rosters and refereed for traveling groups and College of Chicago Lab School teams.

When soccer dad and mom acquired riled up, as soccer mother and father often do, he’d continue to be calm and softspoken. Max Shuftan, 33, just one of his former gamers, remembers his staff once participating in a lackadaisical ultimate game of the club period. At halftime, the rating was 3-.

“He didn’t give us a extensive, loud or indignant speech,” Shuftan claimed. “He simply just appeared at us and claimed, ‘Guys, we’re down 3-. It’s the final sport. Quite a few of your mother and father are here. So what have we been participating in for all yr? I require you to rating at the very least 3 goals in the second 50 %.’

“Sure ample, we scored four plans in the 2nd 50 % to acquire 4-3. Getting that end result, instead of us shedding, gained us 1st position in our division.”

Soon after a coronary heart assault about a decade ago, “He just went out and tried out to do all the forms of points he desired to do, which included a bike license and skydiving,” his daughter reported.

“In his 80s, we went zip-lining,” Eddington-Nance reported. “We went whale-watching in Portugal and Hawaii. He was organizing to do a 118-working day cruise subsequent calendar year even with remaining on dialysis. He was trying to get the job done on no matter whether to deliver the machines ahead of time.”

Jim Buckner exploring the Dominican Republic.

Jim Buckner discovering the Dominican Republic.
Kimberly Eddington-Nance

Mr. Buckner also traveled to the Amazon basin, Ghana, Italy and South Africa and went whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon.

“We have touched just about every continent other than Australia and the Antarctic,” Eddington-Nance claimed.

In addition to his 3 children and companion, Mr. Buckner is survived by a few grandchildren.

A wake is planned for 9:30 a.m. June 25 adopted by a provider at 10 a.m. June 25 at Leak and Sons Funeral House in Nation Club Hills, with burial at Oak Woods Cemetery.