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In memoriam: Marc Buckhout, 1977-2014

Marc Buckhout
Staff Report~ 8/13/2014

Community shares memories of Marc, talented journalist and caring friend

“Meaning of life, whatcha got?” Marc Buckhout’s favorite expression.

Marc Buckhout passed away on Aug. 2, 2014. He was just 36 years old. Marc leaves behind his parents Brad and Karen Buckhout and his brother Kirk Buckhout.

Marc’s talent as a journalist and photographer took him to multiple publications throughout his career, including the Daily News Sun, the West Valley View, and The Foothills Focus. Most recently, he worked in communications at the Anthem Community Council. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Marc also covered sports at NAU as a television reporter for Fox College Sports Network.

Marc’s interest in sports wasn’t just limited to his work. He frequently enjoyed games of his favorite teams: the Suns, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes. He also kept up with community high school sports and was respected and liked throughout the local sports circuit. As an avid outdoorsman, Marc had a passion for hiking, camping, and exploring. He and his father hiked the Arizona Trail together several years ago.

Marc touched more lives than he could possibly know. He will be deeply missed.


Marc Buckhout was beloved by the north valley community and beyond. Following is a tribute to him written by his friends and colleagues.

Marc worked for the Foothills Focus for over 5 years. Not only was he an excellent journalist and a hard working employee he was a friend. In the last year even though he didn’t work for us anymore he was always there to help or just bounce ideas off of. Or just there to send me a text telling me something funny. 

He was also like a big brother to my daughters.  His patience when they would come to the office was admirable. He once bailed my youngest out of trouble by adopting the dog (Shoop) that she brought home just knowing I would say yes once I saw the dog. The day after he took Shoop home he came in laughing because Shoop rode all the way home on his shoulder like a parrot. The stories go on and on and so do the wonderful memories. My daughter Megan would always write Marc little notes and stick them on his office window. Sometimes they would say “Smile” other times they would tell him “You are doing great. Keep up the great work.” No matter what the note said it would always bring a smile to Marc’s face and he never threw away anything my daughters made for him. He always hung them up on his wall.

Marc's passion was telling the stories of our community's residents and businesses through articles, photos and social media. His hard work and unique perspective helped us increase readership and connect with readers. He made a huge impact on all those whose lives he touched.  We are deeply saddened by Marc's passing and mourn the loss of a great journalist and friend. Our condolences go out to his family and all who loved him.

Karen Alexander
The Foothills Focus


A friend, brother, co worker and mentor. Marc was an outstanding man with many amazing talents. Someone who helped me come out of my shell. A man who had a belief of everyone is his friend no matter who you are or where you are from or your past. He would give his shirt off his back or even a golf club out of his bag. He helped turn me around and proved to me that I can lose the weight and become a good looking person. Together with our dogs and showing me the ropes and introducing me to these things called hiking trails. Cactuses, wildlife, plants and more, Marc would not complain about how many stops I made on the trail. He just said, " I wanted to take a photo right here any ways." Photography was his life, love and passion. He also introduced me to golf. Yes he had to point out my clubs were all woman's but what do you expect for free things.

Marc was a great charmer. Those nights at Tony's shooting pool or just shooting the breeze about what games I'm working. A sports fanatic, he had the stats and history on almost everyone.

NAU Lumberjacks lost a great man. An outstanding sports writer. No matter what the topic was or tasked with he made it work.

Brother, you will be missed and never forgotten. We are here with you and love you. You made children smile, old people get up and dance, and well, large people learn they can change themselves.

Rest in peace Marc Buckhout.

Eric Rodriguez


We adopted Marc into our family. We thought of him as one of the children. He was a very, very warm person and loving and funny.

Wes befriended Marc. Our families came together, and it was like we had known each other forever. Everybody in the family has felt it, and he will definitely be missed. We felt connected.

I’m sure Marc and Wes are taking heavenly pictures now.

Millie Kar
Millie Kar met Marc through her late husband Wes, who volunteered as a photographer for The Foothills Focus. 


When I first moved to Anthem in 2012 as Assistant Principal of Boulder Creek, Marc called immediately and wanted to do a story on me. He was so professional and easy to talk to about my transition. It really made me feel welcome into the Anthem community. During the course of the 2012-2013 school year, I got to know Marc better and loved how he had a passion for our kids. He was so dedicated to trying to make all the events that he could. I was very happy for him, professionally, but sad when he left the Focus. He was very happy in his new position and I was still able to see him from time to time and catch him up on BCHS sports. He will be greatly missed.

Matt Hreha
Athletic Director/ Assistant Principal
Boulder Creek High School


Marc was a friend of Boulder Creek Baseball and myself.  He was very professional and always had the best interest of the student-athletes in mind in all he covered.  Marc will be missed, but never forgotten.  Thank You for all you have done to help make our Community a better place.

Joe McDonald
DVUSD 7-8 Athletic Director


My Most Memorable Moments with Marc
The first time I met Marc I think I petrified him out of his mind. He had only been with The Focus for a short time. He was writing articles on small businesses in the area and in my boisterous plus obnoxious way, I asked why he hadn't written about mine. He looked at Karen and John for help. They knew I was just giving him a hard time. Soon everyone was laughing and Marc became my best friend forever. He has written Articles for all of my Pet Projects (Karaoke, Chili, all of my Charity work). My Son Danny and I had got in the habit of giving him little objects for his desk as our way of saying “Thank You” for all the special things you do. Marc was always so pleased that we took the time for each special “Thank You” from us. My favorite object was the Blue Hot Wheel Monster Truck with a magnetic Ad for a Newspaper on each door. We will miss you so much my Friend.

Sharren Christopherson & Danny Walters


In Memory of Marc Buckhout
Words are the vessels we use to convey our thoughts, hopes and dreams. As a writer, words usually come easily. Today, words seem to fail me. Loss will do that. The beast of grief sometimes robs us of the things we want to say. But I will press on, to honor my former editor of many years, Marc Buckhout, who loved words, stories and helping writers improve their craft.

Marc Buckhout and I formed an entire working relationship on words. I wrote and he edited my column. He offered encouragement, raised the bar, corrected my grammar, clarified my voice and did it all with kindness. He helped me become a better writer. He had a gift for “seeing the details” but also had a knack for knowing a good story.  He loved journalism and it showed.

Marc always seemed older and wiser than his years. He seemed to have knowledge and experience that was decades beyond his actual age. He was taken from us far too soon and leaves each of us to ponder the fragility of life. No words can completely convey the sadness we feel. The emptiness that his passing brings magnifies the shock of what we have lost.

 Without Marc’s careful editing, I may stumble with this, but here is what I want to say. He would laugh, “Judy, get to the point!” Okay then, here goes. The devastating accident that claimed Marc’s life may have taken him from our physical world. But his life-force of love and caring, talent and kindness, enthusiasm and adventure will continue to touch us. I will see him on the written pages of a newspaper or a book. I will hear him in the rustle of the trees, see him in the vivid Arizona sunsets and honor his passing with spending extra time embracing our natural, wonderful world. So tonight, an extra bright star shines for all to see, guiding us to be better, reach higher, and find our voice.
We remember him, we miss him, we honor him.

Judy Bluhm


 My first memory was our very  first meeting.  I had just arrived on the Cactus Shadows Campus as a new Athletics Director. Marc’s contact was direct and polite in request of an interview with the New AD. The actual visit consisted of a few general questions in my office followed by a tour of our new administration building. Our visit became a conversation between friends aimed at the same target – highlighting outstanding high school athletes in our community. Over the two years, we visited on the sidelines as he continued to find the best in high school sports. We will miss Marc.

Michael Siwek
Cactus Shadows High School Athletic Director


I was very fortunate to work with Marc Buckhout for 5 years at the Foothills Focus; Marc was a good friend and a great person. He had tremendous work habits, always willing to include stories about my clients that were news worthy and willing to help me out in any way to make my job easier. Marc loved sports and we spent many hours talking about football, baseball, hockey, basketball and collegiate sports. He will be truly missed by everyone at our paper.

Stan Bontkowski
Account Executive
The Foothills Focus


Please send our regards to the Buckhout family from the BC softball program. Marc will always be remembered as a great reporter. He was a pleasure to speak with and always had a smile. Marc represented our program with integrity through his talent of writing, we will dearly miss him! Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Our regards,
BC softball
Coach Evah Taylor


In Memory of Marc Buckhout
Marc served the Foothills Focus very well for many years.  He was always interested in the local happenings, and would often call me to check on the rescue and see what recent news there was. 

At least once a year Marc would come out to visit all the animals, take some photos, and then run a glorious article on Dreamchaser PMU Rescue.  He had great respect for the work of the rescue, saving horses from slaughter and educating the public.  He was touched by the varying stories of the rescues, and his articles conveyed his compassion.

Marc will be greatly missed by so many people whose lives were impacted by his work and his personality.

God Bless You Marc, and rest in peace.  May God also bless those Marc has left behind.

Susan N. Thompson


I have the honor of sharing Marc's legacy through the eyes of education at DVUSD.

A true partner and advocate of education,he chose to spend his time showcasing students'
talents and hard work. He focused on the positive and took the time to understand the “hows and whys” giving you factual information to work towards solutions.

Nothing was too much for him.

He once met at 7 a.m. to hike Daisy Mtn. from the New River trail, so he could see the opportunity students would have to learn through an amazing authentic learning experience.
We took pictures of deer, both Harris and Redtail hawks, rabbits, rattlesnakes, stately and grizzled saguaros.

The conversation was as colorful and diverse as the hike, always revolving around students and how honored we both were to be in a position to promote positivity and advocate for education.

His legacy for me is clear :
Recognize and embrace your talent .. Utilize those talents for making our world a better place.

Marc will be missed.............

Ann Ordway
Deer Valley Unified School District Governing Board President


I started writing film reviews for The Foothills Focus about 3 years ago. This opportunity was and continues to be an absolute dream come true. My friend Marc was one of the few people directly instrumental in making my dream become a reality. We met by chance; simply overhearing one another talk about the kickball. Our first conversation was a mix of emphatic laughter, critiques on each other’s sports teams, and our analysis on the best poker faces we’d ever seen. Marc loved Arizona and the harmony he felt with its nature. His trustworthy guidance, constant encouragement, exceptional knowledge, and unrelenting kindness are only a fraction of the wonderful qualities he showed me on a daily basis. Marc was a fierce friend, one we would all be lucky to meet in our lifetime. I will miss you my friend. Rest in Paradise.

Monte Yazzie
The Foothills Focus


Marc was so great to work with as a sideline reporter. He was always prepared and he brought a passion to the job that was fun to be around. Live TV can be very stressful, but Marc always had a smile and a sense of calm that made those around him feel at ease.

Mitch Strohman


Marc was a true friend of the Daisy Mountain Veterans, he will be missed.  The North Valley residents have lost a wonderful person, he always looked for the good in a person. 

Mary Ann Derryberry
Daisy Mountain Veterans


Marc Buckhout, was a man with integrity, a true community journalist that took pride in providing the towns with reliable, accountable and trustworthy reporting. While working with him as a freelancer at the Foothills Focus, it was clear he never stopped working, but he never complained and took the long hours in stride, always cheerful even when stress levels were high. He loved his work, and even when he left the paper, Marc was still cared about the communities he had emerged himself in for years.  There will definitely be a void in not only the town's whose trust he earned, but also in the journalism industry.  Marc you will be missed, rest peacefully my friend.

Tara Alatorre
The Foothills Focus


He died with his kickball shirt on. I can’t imagine attire more appropriate for Marc on his final day, and not just because that’s what he was wearing on the first day I met him. A lot of people play sports and engage in hobbies that they enjoy, but rarely do those activities define them in the way that WAKA Kickball did with Marc. It takes a certain kind of man to play kickball as an adult, and I mean that as a compliment. You have to be fun-loving and able to laugh at yourself. You have to be open to new experiences and new friendships season after season as the teams grow and change, and to play for 6 years like Marc did, you have to be likeable enough to be welcomed with open arms over and over again.

He was competitive and we could spend hours debating the rules or strategy on how best to win the game, but it was always in good fun. He was thoughtful and kind and we spent many other hours lamenting over Arizona sports teams or going deep into meaning of life conversations, religion or politics. He was opinionated and so am I, but we always wound up thanking each other for a good debate afterwards, probably both assuming that we’d come out the victor. How many people can you say that about? For me, it’s a short list, and it’s something I’ll miss terribly.

As writers, we found ourselves kindred spirits and often went to each other for help for everything from headline writing to choosing the perfect descriptive word or metaphor for that extra bit of flair. When I interviewed athletes, I’d often ask Marc’s advice as to what questions I should ask and his suggestions were always so good that I often acknowledged that he’d do better on the topic than I would. Never one to miss a beat, he’d simply reply “I know.” He’d always laugh, though, and say that I was a great writer and had the knack for color that he sometimes lacked. It was strong praise and something that boosted my self-esteem on more than one occasion, even if I only half believed it.

I owe a good portion of my recent writing career to Marc. When I moved from California to Arizona, I found myself without an outlet for my writing and he generously offered me space in The Foothills Focus whenever I wanted it. It was probably hard to turn down my offer to write for free, but he still trusted me to write quality content and told me he loved that he never had to edit anything I sent. He was always complimenting me and his other friends at every occasion, something that spoke very highly of his character. Maybe it was his nature as a reporter, but I always noticed how often he’d ask questions of his friends and truly listen as they told their stories of work and life. He made everyone feel important by not only listening, but remembering what they said and following up on it later.

He was great not only with words, but also images and his skills behind the camera became apparent in the years I knew him. I looked forward to his photos on Facebook where he kept up with a project to take a picture every day of something interesting, funny or just that caught his eye. He’d describe it and it was a great insight into his world. Many of his best shots were on the kickball field. He’d capture the action and post it all for us to see in the following days. I took it for granted, we all did. How were we supposed to know he’d be gone so soon? He was a rock for so many of us and the world just feels shaky without him.

I can hear his voice in my head as I write this and love that there was always the hint of a laugh to it. Even when he frowned (which was rare), his eyes still smiled. It’s like he had smiled so much during his life that he could never completely wipe it from his face. I assumed I’d see that smile again at the kickball fields or some gathering in the coming weeks. It’s like James Taylor said: “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.” I may have been wrong, but I’ll carry that smile with me in my heart forever and always be glad that kickball brought Marc into my life.

Shana Schwarz


Marc and I met doing something we both loved to do – covering sports. Although we worked for competing newspapers at the time, we never considered it that way. I looked forward to seeing him on the football field or on the basketball sidelines and we became fast friends. Marc was a good photographer but an incredible sports writer. When I wrote, I tried to hold myself to the standard he set for sports coverage on a local level. Personally, he was a fun-loving guy who would do anything for his friends. Marc will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

Matt Loeschman

Marc Buckhout (12/08/77 - 8/02/14)

Born in Toledo, Ohio, the first son of Karen and Brad Buckhout, Marc was followed 21 months later by his brother and closest friend, Kirk. The family moved west to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities of Arizona in 1982. Marc attended Moon Valley High School and played on the basketball team all four years. He was an intense competitor and received the Rocket Award by the school for dedication, hustle and hard work, which was later renamed the "Buckhout Award" in his honor. Marc attended Northern Arizona University, choosing a curriculum that allowed for graduation in three years. His major in Journalism led to his career in writing, editing and as a photographer for West Valley newspapers before serving as managing editor of the Foothills Focus in Anthem from 2007-2013. In July 2013, he became a communications specialist for the Anthem Community Council, where he continued to serve a community he loved. Marc took great pride in his work as a communicator, giving life to stories of student athletes and members of the Anthem community. His photography captured the joy of sport, the magnificence of Arizona and the humanity of its people.
Marc completed his first Rim-to-Rim hike of the Grand Canyon with his father and brother during high school, and upon graduation the three rafted the Colorado River. In 2000, Marc and his father began a multi-year trek of the Arizona Trail. Marc was the 29th hiker to complete this challenge and was part of the only father-son team to have done so to date. Marc told his mother that the Canyon was his favorite place on Earth; his life ended much too soon in the place that he cherished.
In a Journalism class at NAU in 1997, Marc was required to write his obituary, where he stated in lieu of flowers, his wishes were for donations to be made to the Nature
Conservancy or The Boys and Girls Club of Arizona. A Celebration of Life and visitation
will be held at the Anthem Civic Building, 3701 W. Anthem Way on Saturday, August 23 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.