Thomas R. Buecker, a former curator of the Neligh Mill State Historical Site, died Monday after being found unconscious in the snow in Lincoln.
According to Lincoln police, 66-year-old Buecker was found near the Kennard House, which is owned by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Lincoln Police spokesman Katie Flood said Buecker was taken to a local hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
View Buecker's obituary
Neligh Mill site supervisor Harv Ofe said Buecker was the curator in Neligh from April 1977 until fall 1985, when he accepted the same position at Fort Robinson State Park.
"Nebraska lost a great historian," Ofe said. "His knowledge of history was incredible. He wrote various books and was a very intelligent man."
Ofe said Buecker was the reason he has the job now as site supervisor. The two worked together at the Neligh Mill with Ofe helping with maintenance and other projects. When Buecker left Neligh, the curator at Fort Robinson came to Neligh and spent just one year at the mill.
Buecker recommended Ofe then be hired as the site supervisor, which combined the curator and maintenance positions.
"Tom recommended me for this job," Ofe said. "He's the reason I'm here today."
Ofe credited Buecker with compiling much of the Neligh Mill's historical information, including the book, "Water Powered Flour Mills in Nebraska," and said he was instrumental in much of the mill's success.
Buecker was also active in the Neligh Jaycees and Neligh Young Men’s Club and was a member of the Neligh Methodist Church while in Neligh. His wife, Kay, was an elementary teacher at Neligh-Oakdale.
Ofe said Buecker was at the Fort Robinson museum for 26 years, from 1985 to 2011. Buecker wrote three books and had more than 70 articles published. Two of his books were written about the history of Ft. Robinson.
Memorial Services for Buecker will be this Friday at 11 a.m. in the Christ United Methodist Church in Lincoln.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; son, Michael (Jessica) Buecker, Lincoln; daughter, Anne (Jason) Henderson, Weeping Water; grandchildren, Jaxson and Brock Buecker, Blake, Jett, and Rylee Henderson.