Henry (Buster) Clay Lucas, 86, of Osceola passed away Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Citizens Memorial Healthcare Facility in Bolivar, Missouri following a brief illness.
Buster was born on the family farm in Caraway, Arkansas on June 23, 1933 to Clara and John Lucas. They had built a house from the wood of a big cypress tree that had been blown over. They lived on the produce from their vegetable garden, milk cow, raised guineas and they grew cotton for cash crop.
At the age of 13, following his father’s death, he dropped out of school to work and earn money to support the family. Buster was always a hard worker. At 17, when his family relocated to Batesville, he traveled to various places to find work, before returning to Batesville to finish high school. He was working on a farm in Kansas City when he was drafted and served two years in the Army. He returned to Kansas City in 1957 and was married to his first wife a year later. He had two sons and enjoyed his time with them working on projects and coaching their baseball team. As they got older, he made a point of modeling self-reliance. He taught them many things, like home maintenance and fixing cars and the invaluable skill of being self-taught. His first marriage ended when the boys were in their late teens.
In 1980, after being introduced by their sons, Buster and Betty began a relationship and merged their lives together. After retiring from the factory where he had been employed for many years he did various jobs, such as mechanic work, driving a tow truck and running his scrap metal recycling business. The words of his grandson Shane describe him well, “His stories legendary, his skills top notch, knowledge of cars unparalleled. The pioneer of junkin.”
Buster and Betty moved to Osceola in 2003, where he settled into a comfortable retirement and quickly began making new friends. He started attending the Osceola Community Church where he met people who became like family to him. He accepted Christ as his Savior in 2008, one year before his mother passed away.
Buster made friends wherever he went and would help anyone in need. He never knew a stranger and talked to people as if he had known them for years. When asked how he was doing, he would often reply, “If I was any better, couldn’t nobody stand me!” He brought smiles to many. He especially loved his role of being grandpa and great-grandpa to many children who loved him and looked up to him. Even children who weren’t related thought of him as grandpa. He was kindhearted, funny and will be greatly missed.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Clara Schutz; father, John Lucas; step-father, William Schutz; 5 brothers, Jack Lucas, David Lucas, Otis Lucas, Albert Lucas and James Lucas; step-brother, W.T. Schutz; sister, Mary Katherine Lucas; 3 step-sisters, Geneva Bell Rickett, Laura Holden and Betty McAdams.
He leaves his companion of 39 years, Betty Davis; their children, John Lucas, Steve and Rebecca Lucas, Alan Davis, Anita Clemmons; 19 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren; 2 step-brothers, Raymond Schutz and Glynn Schutz; 2 step-sisters, Mary Mason and Carolyn Newsome and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.