Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

February 22, 2011

Community mobilizes to honor friend and veteran

By Courtney Essett
CNHI

BROWNSBURG —  When John “Buck” Threewits walked into the Green Street Pub and Eatery, it was like the daily arrival of Norm Peterson walking into the bar on “Cheers.”

Threewits was a regular at Green Street, sometimes coming in for lunch and dinner.

“It was like his own personal Cheers,” said Kathy, his wife of eight years.

Known throughout the community for his generosity, sense of humor, and fun loving spirit, Threewits was a local legend of sorts. So when he passed away unexpectedly in November, his death affected as many people as his life touched.

Friend Theresa Fox said, “He just touched the lives of so many people. He was just a fun-loving guy.”

It was his thoughtfulness that endeared Threewits to so many. He would help college students buy costly books for the semester, bring in carrot cakes for Green Street employee’s birthdays, and on his daily trip to the Brownsburg Wal-mart, pick up whatever he thought someone might need.

To honor his passing, friends and the staff at Green Street recently held a memorial service on what would have been Threewits’ 61st birthday. Organized in just 10 days, the event raised $10,500 for a cause near and dear to Threewits’ heart, The Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a non-profit organization designed to help injured veterans. Threewits was a corporal and combat photographer who was wounded twice during two tours in Vietnam.

“He wanted this generation’s returning vets to have the support he did,” Kathy said.

Kathy Threewits said her husband credited his godfather with offering him support and helping him rebuild his life upon his return from Vietnam.

The memorial for Threewits, dubbed “Bucks that Matter,” was an outpouring of support for the man friends called Buck, as well as WWP. More than 50 businesses donated three banquet-sized tables’ worth of items for a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle raised more than $2,000 that was donated back to charity by winner Mike Newman.

Local band Big Daddy Caddy provided musical entertainment and Green Street donated 30 percent of the day’s sale to WWP.

A carrot cake was served as his birthday cake and Kathy donned a visor that Threewits often wore.

“I was just overwhelmed by the generosity of people to come together like that,” she said. “John would have been overwhelmed in a good way.”

Just three months after his death, Kathy is still grieving but has a great system of support in John’s friends and his legacy.

“I literally take my life day by day,” she said. “He was an incredible man and I’m really honored to have been loved by him. John was just an inspiration in life and in death.”

courtney.essett@flyergroup.com