In Memory of Bob “Buggs” Bugnon

I just received this email from Ann Bugnon:

Bob has passed on into Heaven to be with His Lord at 8:15 on June 23, 2005. He is going to be missed so much by his many friends and family.

I don’t know when the Memorial will be yet but, will let you know as soon as I can. He died peacefully in his sleep.

Ann was Bob’s loving wife. Buggs was his nickname that he got from his Navy days. Buggs was my first mentor and spiritual “father”. I first heard of his wish to be with the Lord about 2 weeks ago. He’s had an ailing body for a number of years, and most recently, Merkel Cell cancer took over his body, to the degree that he could no longer digest. And he did not want any more chemotherapy or radiation, and definitely not feeding tubes. By the time I knew, he wasn’t able to take phone calls, and I was not able to say thanks or goodbye to him. I did tell Ann, and I’m sure she conveyed my gratitude and he could have heard subconsciously.

I had already written about his and his family’s hospitality to me during my first few years out of college. We wound up spending a lot of time together, probably more time at his home than my place. It wasn’t so much that we had all that much in common, but he demonstrated to me kindness, grace, and love. I don’t know what he saw in me. We’d often sit in his study and talk about life. I’d sometimes wind up talking about my self-loathing, and he’d watch patiently, wishing that I’d stop feeling bad about myself, as if I were sitting in the corner, hitting myself with a ball peen hammer in the head.

Buggs showed me a sincere and genuine desire to follow God, and he was transparent and vulnerable with me. He shared his struggles and feelings. He did a few things faithfully. He invited me to do the CBMC (Christian Businessmen’s Committee)’s First Steps and Operation Timothy discipleship programs with him. At first I declined. Then a few weeks later, I said I’m ready. And we both knew what I meant.

A few years later, I had a better spiritual foundation and a desire to do something with it. His prayers for over a year and other things led me to seminary studies. During my first year there, he came to Dallas Seminary to visit me. And then he came to Dallas again in 1995 to see me graduate, and to attend my wedding. (He did not like Dallas.)

He told a few stories time and again. And each re-telling would be grow with a few more embellishments: the story about the bus driver and the kid with a speech impediment, and the story of telling a joke at the golf country club.

Buggs enjoyed people. We’d do our mingling & networking thing together, meeting new people at conferences or events. Nothing wrong with being friendly, he’d say.

I’m not teared up or balling, yet. It’ll be tearful when I visit the family in Jacksonville over July 4th weekend, en route to another friend’s wedding in Jekyll Island.

Buggs: I’m glad your suffering is over, and your body is healed and well. I’m sorry we never got our whole family down to Florida for a visit. I know how much you and Ann loved Jeremiah’s laugh when he was a 2-year old. He still has a great laugh and is very playful. Thank you for pouring your life into mine.

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  1. susie says:

    sorry for loss, and yet grateful that your mentor’s suffering has come to an end. what a legacy he leaves behind…you are in my thoughts and prayers as you remember, grief and go on…
    looking forward to doing lunch soon.
    shalom, susie