Martin VanBuren Jr.

Obituary of Martin "Ricky" VanBuren Jr.

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Martin Frederick "Ricky" VanBuren died peacefully in his sleep on January 29, 2024 at the Bridgewater Rehabilitation Center. He had suffered a massive stroke in April 2023, which brought him to Bridgewater, to try to regain his ability to walk and care for himself. He was born on January 21, 1964 in Stamford, NY. He spent the first 9 years of his life in NY, then Connecticut. The family moved to Idaho in 1973, where he would spend most of the rest of his life. He returned to NY in 1980 with his family, parents, Martin and Maisha VanBuren, and siblings, Lisa, Matthew and Cully, but only stayed 2 years to complete his high school education before returning to his beloved Idaho. As a pre-teen, Ricky was one of those kinds of kids who was good at anything he did. He was a singer in a boy's choir, a gifted artist and a talented runner. He was born with a very competitive spirit, and loved to tell everyone who would listen, how "great he was!" Everything changed in his teen years when he was in a car accident that physically disabled him for the rest of his life. He was riding a bicycle with friends and was struck by a truck hauling a horse trailer. The year that followed involved a lot of broken bones, many surgeries, and a lot of pain. He spent the entire next year in a body cast. Unable to run, sing or draw, a lot of time was spent playing board games with the family (he and his youngest brother Cully would always team up, and found very creative ways to cheat at everything!). He was given a fly-typing kid in the hospital to occupy his time, and he became a master fly-tyer! His flies were so meticulous and well-made that they were sold at all of the local sporting goods stores in our area. In 1986, he met Traci McWilliams Dana and they fell in love and were married in 1988. Followed by three beautiful children, Aaron James, Amy Lee and Matthew Orrin. To date, he has one daughter-in-law, Arielle, and 3 grandchildren, Maralyn, Shaelyn and Noah. Along this same time, he embarked on a career in carpet laying and floor covering that would remain his career throughout his life. He worked with Priest Flooring with Larry and Jeff Priest, and also many years and many jobs with two lifelong friends, Billy Pedro and Matt McLain. He was known for a dedicated work ethic and meticulous detail to his craft. He truly loved many things: music, the NY Giants, any type of competitive games, pool, darts, cards, horseshoes, and claimed to be the greatest chess player that ever lived. More than any of these, he was a sportsman of the great outdoors. He jacked many white-tail deer from the woods of NY in the short time he lived here (there was frequently a deer leg in our refrigerator-he would hack off a few slices and fry it up with home fries and onions!) He loved fishing and shared many adventures with a fishing pole in his hand. I believe every person in Idaho that knew him has a least one fishing story to tell! One I remember was sitting on the bank of the Boise River, watching him pluck big fat crawdads out of their hiding spots and drop them into a pillowcase tied around his waist! He must have caught 100! He boiled them, took the tails, breaded and fried them! 30 years later, I still remember how delicious they were! Traci tells of a time when he poured a sack of them into the sink, and they were crawling all over the counters. She found one months later, all dried up, that crawled up inside the electric can opener! If you knew my brother, you knew he battled additions his whole life and never fully won. He was very generous, no matter or much or how little he had, he was always trying to give it to someone, family members or random strangers. He had no filter. He would always tell it exactly like he thought, whether he should or not. He bragged about how amazing he was, but more than that, he bragged on people he loved! He would tell complete strangers about how amazing his kids were, what a hard worker his ex-wife was, how his sister and brother saved his life. He was so proud of his family, and if he loved you, he loved you with his whole heart! He will be greatly missed by those who really knew him. He is survived by his ex-wife, Traci McWilliams Dana; three children: Aaron James McWilliams, Amy Lee VanBuren, Matthew (Arielle) VanBuren; three grandchildren: Maralyn, Shaelyn and Noah; sister, Lisa Shearer and family (Amanda (Dan) Beismer, Ryan & Weston) (Joseph Shearer & Michelle Spathelf) (Ben & Dawn Shearer); brother, Cully and Jody VanBuren and family (Kaitlyn & Anthony McCoy-Alijah, Angelica, Anthony) (Alexis (Mike) VanBuren-baby Alvie) (Dillon) (Nathan, Isaiah, Eaden, BreAnna, Parker). He was predeceased by his parents, Martin and Maisha VanBuren, younger brother, Matthew VanBuren and brother-in-law, Ralph Shearer. In lieu of flowers donations to offset funeral costs would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to Lisa Shearer, 35 Sand St. Afton, NY 13730. A Celebration of Life Service will be held from 1:00 to 4:00pm on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at the First Baptist Church of Afton Fellowship Hall, 30 Caswell Street, Afton, NY 13730.

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, February 10, 2024
First Baptist Church Of Afton Fellowship Hall
30 Caswell Street
Afton, New York, United States
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Martin VanBuren Jr.

In Loving Memory

Martin VanBuren Jr.

1964 - 2024

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