Cover photo for Carl Buchanan Jr.'s Obituary
1961 Carl 2022

Carl Buchanan Jr.

September 19, 1961 — July 14, 2022


Carl Buchanan Jr. was born September 19, 1961 in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Carl Sr. and Jacqueline (Adams) Buchanan. He left this world too soon on July 14, 2022 after a most determined battle to beat glioblastoma.

The days Carl was granted on this earth were spent using the God-given gift of his incredible mind to the fullest.  He was a graduate of Preble High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin and received an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Design from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. But in most things he was truly self-taught and his innate desire to learn was lifelong. While only in his teens he earned his Amateur Radio Operator’s license, which lead to him becoming a Weather Spotter as an adult and a member of the Military Auxiliary Radio System.  A natural-born musician, he became proficient in many instruments including mandolin, guitar, keyboards and Hammond B3 organ, and was an integral member of several NE Wisconsin bands including Eddie Haskel, AfterDark, Replica and the WAMI awarding-winning Journey Tribute band, Separate Ways. He was also a dedicated member of the Worship Band at his church home, Appleton Alliance.  His mechanical aptitude naturally led him to the hobby of building his own cars and ultimately racing his 1968 Camaro at Wisconsin International Raceway in 1988, earning 3rd place in Street Eliminator. When he tried his hand at oil painting, his first piece won Honorable Mention at a juried show and a later creation received meritorious recognition. His career accomplishments include being named as an inventor on a US Patent for an innovative Web Dryer apparatus. Always on or ahead of the cutting edge of technology, he held certifications as a PDM Professional Administrator, DriveWorks Professional, SolidWorks Associate and AutoDesk Instructor and User.  He brought these certifications and decades of experience with him when he was offered a position in 2020 as Engineering Systems Analyst at Barry-Wehmiller Packaging Systems. Not only was this his dream job but he got to work with a dream team. He enthusiastically shared his vast knowledge as adjunct instructor at Fox Valley Technical College for several years, receiving recognition for Instructional Excellence in 2012.

In 2007, after purchasing his beloved SteppingStone Acres in Oconto County he added part-time farmer and later beekeeper to his pursuits. The “Farm” was his haven and happy place. Driving his tractor through the field to prep the ground for planting, or his bulldozer through the woods to pioneer new trails was not work to him. He loved it, but not as much as he loved his friends and fellow farmers there who called him “City Boy”.  In spite of the nickname, he earned their respect and was never more proud than when they stood along the field’s edge to watch him, nodding their approval.

His wife Deb was so blessed and grateful to walk and stand beside him for the past nearly 18 years. When he proposed he set the ring box on the restaurant table, placed his finger on it and said, “When you open this box, everything will be different!” He kept that promise. He was her Two-coat Man and Perfectionist. He was her Pond Builder and Garden Creator. He was her Teacher and Protector. He was her Problem-Solver and Tear-Dryer. He was her Music Maker and Best Friend. She will forever treasure the joy of making music with him, whether it was Bluegrass or Worship or Doobie Brothers. She will miss everything that he made different for her.

Life for Carl was not a matter of “Look what I’ve done”, but “What can I do next?”  But even with his lifetime of accomplishments, his lasting legacy will be the lives he touched as a trusted friend, wise counselor, faithful husband, loving son, brother, uncle and stepdad. The memories of his brilliant sense of humor will continue to make us laugh and his fascination with the miraculous in life will continue to inspire. And it was his hope that his love for and trust in the Creator would spur others on to seek Him, know Him and trust Him as he did. His faith in the promise of eternal life for all who put their trust in Jesus allowed him to face his last days without fear, and with confident anticipation for what was to come.

He will be deeply and painfully missed by the loved ones he leaves behind. As for his many friends from childhood, the music-making community, the faith community, the farm brotherhood and business/work environment; well, you know who you are and so did he. As for family, he is cherished and survived by his wife Deb and his mom Jackie; his stepchildren Laura and Steve Hetland; his brother Walter and wife Mary; his sister Laura and husband Mounir ElHmamsi; his nieces Hannah, Safia and husband Alex, Megan and husband Jaime; his nephews Sean, Luke, Adam, and Dallas and wife Rachel; his grandniece Zoe and grandnephew Noah; his great-grandniece Sophia and great-grandnephew Rami. Deb’s family loved him as their own and he will be missed by his mom-in-law Edie Stolper; sister-in-law Wendy and husband Tom Lundt; and brother-in-law Scott and wife Tia Stolper; and his in-law nephews and nieces Nate and Bre, Tim and Sami, Abby and John, Chris and Courtney, Greg and Janine, and all their beautiful Littles who called him Uncle. Carl was preceded in death by his dad, Carl Sr. and father-in-law Harold Stolper.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Dr. Joseph Chabot, Theda Care Cancer Center in Appleton, Dr. Harsha Poola, Dr. Nina Desai, Dr. Jennifer Connelly at Froedtert Hospital and Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Karl Greene our answer to prayer, and the compassionate staff at Cherry Meadows Hospice. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Cherry Meadows in Appleton or a Cancer Funding Organization dedicated to the research/treatment of Glioblastoma.

There is an upcoming memorial service and celebration of Carl’s life being planned for family and friends for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in August or September. Details will be forthcoming as they develop.


“These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world.”  ~Jesus  (John 16:33)

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