Frank Van BuskirkFrank Abram van Buskirk Jr. 1949-2019 Frank Abram van Buskirk Jr., 70, of Raton, NM passed away on November 7, 2019. Frank was born on June 26, 1949 and raised on the family ranch where he lived all his life east of Raton. He was the eldest of three children born to Frank Sr. and Marion (Jones) van Buskirk who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 44 years (132 married-to-Frank years) Marcia Hosea van Buskirk and his four children, Jimmie (Brian) Saccomanno, Jamie (Beau) Chavez, Jodie van Buskirk and John Casey van Buskirk. Also his grandchildren Moss Saccomanno, Romi Saccomanno, Van Ambrose Chavez, Santiago Chavez, James Bennett, Josh van Buskirk, Jade van Buskirk and Greyson Cummings. He is also survived by his brother Mark van Buskirk (Lori) and sister Margaret van Buskirk Muse (Jack) and numerous nieces and nephews. Frank was the personification of the love of God, country and family. He spent his entire life striving to do well at it all. He attended New Mexico State University 1969-73, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Ag Education. His intention was to teach school until it was mentioned about a dress shirt and tie and he bailed out on the idea. His focus then turned to ranching, rodeo and raising his children in an atmosphere of integrity, work ethic and excellence. A career rodeo cowboy, Frank was part of the NMSU rodeo team where he was a saddle bronc rider and high-point man in 1971, ’72 and ’73. Later his career followed in that same event, earning him 10 consecutive year-end Champion and runner up Champion titles in the New Mexico Rodeo Association and the Colorado State Rodeo Association. He also rodeoed extensively in the Texas State Rodeo Association. He professed 1985 to be the year he was most proud of as he and his wife Marcia both won Championship NMRA titles, her’s in Barrel Racing. In a 1988 rodeo news article, Frank is quoted saying that even after hundreds of broncs over the years, “riding a good one right” always presented the challenge and the gratification when it happened. “It leaves you looking for the next one,” he said. He believed that to be a champion you needed three things; a big heart, a lot of desire and a certain amount of natural ability. Frank had more than enough of all three. In the years following his bronc riding career, he continued to ranch in and around the yearling country on the mesas and bottomlands of Colfax County. He also took up a Harley Davidson motorcycle habit and loved time on the open road and having coffee with his friends on Thursdays. He also began restoring old Dodge pickups with the same passion he did everything in his life. When the attacks of 9-11 happened in the United States, Frank felt a burning desire to serve his country. He spent four years fighting government red tape to be allowed to re-enlist in the National Guard where he had once served in the late ‘60s. He became the oldest man ever (at the time) to be allowed to re-enlist. It set him on a journey with the Rangers and landed him on a fire base in southern Afghanistan. He turned 60 years old just days after he returned home from deployment. Sgt. Frank “Coyote” van Buskirk was part of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 2nd Bn, 3rd Special Forces Group (A), Task Force 32, from October 2007 to June 2008. The cowboy went to war and even though a soldier through and through, one of the enduring stories from the fire camp is that of Achmed, the Afghan horse Frank found in those remote lands. Achmed soon became friends with the New Mexico cowboy who taught him there was more to life than “petting and standing around”. Frank found an old saddle in a shed that was covered in decades of dust, crumbling dry leather he was able to revive with motor oil and some sewing repairs. He found a snaffle bit and made a head stall for it out of the parachute cord that came tied around the Army supply packages. Frank’s dedication and sacrifice were highlighted, along with the horrors of war, with good moments with the horse named Achmed. Frank was presented with two commemorative award plaques denoting his combat service based at Special Forces A Camp “Lane” in Zabul, Afghanistan. It was a proud accomplishment in Frank’s life and one that proved his ability to once again do and be what he believed he was called to in this life. Frank was a man of few words, but to those that knew him, he was a kind, Christian family man, confident in himself, his life and the direction it took and most of all, its final destination. A memorial service will be held Nov. 11, 2019, 10 a.m., at the First Baptist Church of Raton, 236 South 4th St. A private burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Raton VFW, 106 Park Ave., Raton, NM 87740. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.
Frank Abram van Buskirk Jr.1949-2019Frank Abram van Buskirk Jr., 70, of Raton, NM passed away on November 7, 2019. Frank was born on June 26, 1949 and raised on the family ranch where he lived all his life east of Raton. He was the eldest of three children born to Frank Sr. and Marion (Jones) van Buskirk who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 44 years (132 married-to-Frank years) Marcia Hosea van Buskirk and his four children, Jimmie (Brian) Saccomanno, Jamie (Beau) Chavez...
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