Robert G. “Bob” Buckles

Robert G. “Bob” Buckles passed away at the age of 71 at the Sandhills Care Center in Ainsworth, Neb. He was born to A. Robert Buckles and Mary Frances (Swanson) on April 2, 1951 in Martin, S.D.

Bob was raised in Merriman, Neb. He graduated high school in 1969 from Martin. Bob was united in marriage to Cindy Hines on August 6, 1971, in Martin at the Presbyterian Church. To this union two children were born - Angie and Tony.

Bob and Cindy attended college at Chadron State and both graduated in 1974. Bob’s first teaching job moved them to Ainsworth, where he taught Kindergarten through 12th grade art. A statue of an eagle and cougar still stand beside the high school - an accomplishment of his high school students. Bob coached basketball, little kids t-ball, took stats for the football program for 25 years and loved watching upcoming athletes.

In 1979, Bob and Cindy opened an auto parts store later adding a gun and antique shop. Bob loved his store and worked hard to accommodate his customers. He enjoyed refinishing and restoring guns, antiques, tractors, and especially muscle cars. With the help of friends and family, a rescued and renovated basketball scoreboard from the Merriman gym has recently been donated and relocated to the Hoosier gym located in Knightstown, Ind. It was fitting tribute to his love for basketball as well as his hometown. 

Bob enjoyed his family and loved to take Angie, Tony and their friends on random trips and adventures - from gun shows and Husker games to rock concerts. He continued that love of spur of the moment trips by taking his grandchildren fishing, shopping for fireworks, and play productions. He was interested in everything they enjoyed and spent hours painting barns and building fences for horses. The tree house and swing he built are now being used by the younger grandchildren. His passion for vintage cars, old tractors, service station memorabilia, and the importance of preservation of local history has been passed down to his children and grandchildren. 

The holidays were always special to Bob. Halloween brought the great pumpkin carve - lights, lights, lights at Christmas - and he loved the 4th of July at the Merriman house when he could share his hometown and his love of cooking (as well as semi-illegal fireworks) with his family, relatives and Ainsworth friends. 

Bob truly cared about people and enjoyed helping others. May we honor his legacy by loving deeply and living each day to the fullest.

Bob is survived by his wife, Cindy, Ainsworth; children, Angie (Mark) VonHeeder, Ainsworth, and Tony (Christina) Buckles, Ainsworth; grandchildren, Sami Silsby, Macey VonHeeder; Monroe, Sutton, Anniston and Jade Buckles; father and mother-in-law, Donald and Shirleigh Hines, Ainsworth; sister-in-law, Kim Buckles, Broken Bow; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Andie Hines, Martin; nieces, nephews, and other family members. He joins in his heavenly home his parents, Robert and Mary Frances Buckles; and brother, Mike Buckles.

Graveside Services were held on Monday, November 28, 2022, in the Ainsworth Cemetery with Pastor Martin Leeper officiating. The music selections of “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allan and “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys were played. Pallbearers were: Dave Sherman, Ryan Cleal, Clint Painter, Vance Denny, Cody Stec and Brian Delimont. Honorary Pallbearers were: Rick Brodbeck, Kevin Shaul, Zale Quible, Matt Ford, Ernie Bennett and Kevin Schuetz. Memorials are suggested to the Sandhills Care Center or the Ainsworth United Methodist Church and may be sent in care of Hoch Funeral Home, 1320 East 4th St Ainsworth, NE 69210. Online condolences can be left for the family at

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •