Green Burial

B.J. Backman


B.J. Backman

He is and always will be himself

Memorial services for William James “BJ” Backman, 32, of Eudora will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at Warren McElwain Mortuary.  Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

BJ died November 5, 2010 at the home of his aunt and uncle, Ruth Ann and Bill Gutierrez, in Lawrence.  He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and was raised in Lawrence.  He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1996 and was attending the University of Kansas until the time of his illness.

BJ was many things – artist, gamer, son, friend, and most of all, himself.  Many people like to quote “to thine own self be true,” but BJ lived it.  No one who met him could doubt that he was truly himself and those who loved him loved him for that.

A man of strong opinions, he reserved the strongest for his true calling – art.  BJ worked in many mediums, including photography, sculpture, weaving and paint.  Whenever someone visited, BJ would always show off his latest artwork and ask for an opinion of it.  He wished to be a high school art teacher so that he could inspire kindred talents.  He would have made a great one, as those who knew him carry a richer appreciation and understanding of art for knowing him.

He passed surrounded by friends and family, the people who loved him, and will miss him.  While the world will be poorer without him in it, his friends and family will always have a special place for him in their hearts and memory.  He is truly loved and missed.

He is survived by: his mother and father, Esperanza and Bill Martin of Harlingen, TX; step-brother, Bill Martin of Denver, CO; an uncle who was raised in the family home as a “big brother,” Eric Martin of Lenexa, KS; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; his cat, Melvin; and his beloved dogs, Maya and Poe.

The family suggests memorials to Grace Hospice, the LMH Endowment Association (Oncology Center) or the American Cancer Society sent in care of the mortuary at 120 W. 13th, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

   
   

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  • Roberta Lockard says:

    Bill and Esperanza, Bill and Ruth Ann,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Greg and Roberta Lockard

  • Tim Holverson says:

    Bill and Esperanza,

    We are so sorry to hear about BJ’s passing. I know you miss him dearly. Hopefully it brings you some comfort to know that he is longer suffering. Know that you are in our prayers.

    Love,
    Tim & Jackson Holverson

  • Gretchen & Gary Laffoon says:

    Bill & Esperanza –

    Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss.

    May the peace which comes with BJ’s memory comfort you now and in the days ahead.

    You both have our deepest sympathies.

    Love, Gretchen & Gary Laffoon

  • RHONDA KNEIS says:

    O, I’M SO SORRY ABOUT THE LOSS OF YOUR SON. MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU. I KNOW IT’S HARD TO HEAR, BUT B.J. IS IN A SO MUCH BETTER PLACE. YOU ARE STILL IN MY PRAYERS.

  • Dorothy and Marcello says:

    Bill and Espi, I am sorry for your lost, you and your family are in our prayers, may Gods Comfort and Blessings be with you.
    Dorothy & Marcello

  • Katina Farritor says:

    Even though I never got the opportunity to meet BJ, I feel as if I he is family as I have heard so much about it. Hope, Bill, Ruthie, Bill and the rest of his family and friends, you are in my heart and my prayers! I know BJ will be missed dearly! He was blessed to have family and friends that loved him so much!
    Love you all!
    Katina, Trent, Keira and Karli Farritor

  • Joe and Sylvia says:

    Bill and Espe, we are so sorry for your loss. Know that you are in our prayers. He is in a better place. We are a phone call away if you need anything. Love, Joe and Sylvia

  • Lynne & Donnie Greene says:

    Esperanza & Bill Martin, we are so sorry to learn of your loss. Please know that we will pray for you. You are truly in our thoughts. Lynne, Donnie and Krystle

  • Robert and Ellen says:

    Espe and Bill — words are inadequate to express such deep sorrow. We pray that you will let the peace of the Lord carry you now. love, ecb

  • John & Judy Ftacek says:

    B.J.& Bill, May the Lord be with you and your family on the loss of your son. I pray every day for family and friends. Extra prayers will be said at mass tonight.

  • Joe and Sylvia says:

    Bill and Espe, we are so sorry for your loss. Know that you are in our prayers. He is in a better place. We are a phone call away if you need anything. Love, Joe and Sylvia

  • Gilbert Barrera says:

    My deepest sympathy.My prayers are with you.

  • Don, Linda,and Geoffrey Strole says:

    We were so shocked to hear of BJ passing. I just remember him as Geoffs friend and cub scouts. That was a long time ago. He was always a kind person full of life. We are so sorry and our sympathy is with you Esperanza.You are in our thoughts and prayers. Don, Linda and Geoff Strole

  • MaryAnn and Albert Villarreal says:

    Dear Bill and Esperanza, We are very sorry about B.J.’s passing. Our prayers are with you and your family. Albert and MaryAnn

  • Vince & Debby Marino says:

    Our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you,

  • Mark and Shirley Payne says:

    Dear Bill and Esperanza,
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We are so sorry to hear the sad news about your son. May you feel God’s comfort and know we are praying for you.
    Love,
    Shirley and Mark Payne

  • Bob, Lou Ann, and Amelia Martin says:

    Bill, Esperanza and family and friends of BJ,

    We are so saddened by losing our free spirit, BJer.

    Love,

    Uncle Bob, Aunt Lou Ann, and Amelia

  • Kelly Michener says:

    Aunt Hope & Uncle Bill We are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Kelly and Family

  • Emilio & Penny Gutierrez says:

    Bill and Esperanza. Words cannot express the sadness we feel for your loss and for the passing of a loved one. As BJ was, so you shall be in our prayers. May God help you bear the grief with the knowledge that he is now in a better place where happiness abounds and pain does not exist. Love Emilio & Penny

  • Trin, Heidi, Ryan, and Aiden says:

    Aunt Hope and Uncle Bill Martin, Our thoughts and prayers go out to you during this trying time. So sorry for yours and all of our loss.

  • Laura and Mike McClain says:

    We are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Jo Ellen Banks Harlingen, Texas says:

    What you are feeling right now is one of the most difficult emotions that a family ever faces. Remember that we love you, we are praying for you and Bill, and we stand ready to do anything that you think might help.
    The picture and the obituary captures the essesce of a very handsome and fine young man who will be missed terribly by all who knew him.
    Jo Ellen and Bob

  • Jane Boling says:

    Dear Espe and Bill,
    My heart and prayers go
    out to you. What a fine young man BJ must
    have been. His memory will
    live on forever. Please know
    that we are all here for you.

  • Phil, Pat, Jarrod Hopper says:

    Bill,Esperanza and family, Though challenged by your loss, it is with faith and gratitude for his life and time spent with you, and in anticipation of his spirit’s continuing influence over all that knew and loved him, that you lay him to rest. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you say good bye to his physical presence.
    Love, Phil, Pat, Jarrod

  • Janet and Don Hubbard says:

    Esperanza and Bill, we extend our most sincere sympathy. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers and we are truly sorry for your loss. May his memory bring you comfort in the knowledge that he is no longer in pain or suffering. We love you, Janet and Don

  • Clay, Chris and Uncle Jim says:

    We love you, B.J. and we will miss you. Bill and Esperanza, we love you too. So sorry for the loss. The world will not be the same without him.

  • Mary & John Barkkari says:

    Our deepest sympathy for your
    loss. Our prayers are with
    you, may God give you strength.
    M&J

  • Mary & John Barkkari says:

    We are so sorry for your loss,
    and the hurt you are going through now, may God comfort you and keep you strong. Our prayers continue for you both.
    Mary & John

  • Melissa Elliott says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. BJ was an awesome person, we met in high school and then we were neighbors for many years in Eudora. We would sit outside and talk about any and everything when he’d bring the dogs out to run. He is truly going to be missed by so many.

  • Bower Family says:

    Aunt Esperanza and Uncle Bill Martin I can not express in word how sad we are to hear of your loss. All who had ever knew B.J. will miss him. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. With our Condolences and Love your nephew Jason

  • Flo & Michael (Faith Please God Church) says:

    Esperanza, So Sorry to hear of your loss, Our prayers never ceased, as hard as this is, BJ will never again feel pain, one day you will reunite with him in God’s wonderful Glory. Know that You and BJ are Loved by all @ Faith Pleass God.

  • Rose Trejo says:

    Bill & Esperanza, My deepest sympathy, May Gods Comfort & Blessings be with you.
    Rose Trejo

  • Tara Oneill says:

    Bill and Esperanza, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Liz Ruiz says:

    Bill and Esperanza,
    Our family is so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. God be with you all.

    Liz Ruiz & Ruiz Family

  • Cathy Johnson says:

    Bill and Esperanza, my thoughts, prayers and love are with you both now and always.

  • Ramiro & Belinda Aleman says:

    Bill and Esperanza, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. The Aleman family.

  • Maggie Kruger says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I was so saddened to hear of BJ’s passing.

  • Olivia Garza says:

    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. You are in our prayers. Love Olivia and Diana

  • Peter and Carolyn says:

    Bill and Esperanza,
    We send you our deepest symathy. Know that you are in our thoughts.

  • John and Minnie Jacobson says:

    Bill and Esperanza, We’re praying that the peace of God that comes from dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty will keep and strengthen you. He is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer and your strength (Psalm 18).

  • Jennifer Gilbertson says:

    Esperanza and Bill, my heart is with you at this time. I remember hearing you both talk of BJ. Miss you both and am sending you my love and hugs. Jennifer Gilbertson

  • Cathy and Rick Lewis says:

    Bill and Esperanza, our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to you at this difficult time. We hope you will find comfort in the caring thoughts of your friends.

  • Allison Puderbaugh says:

    I am very sorry to hear that BJ has passed. I knew him from Unos. He was a great person. He created a piece of artwork that I have carried with me on my journeys.

  • Darius, Jacqui & Rubi McLaughlin says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours Aunt Esperanza. We’re here for you if you need us.
    The McLaughin Family – Boerne, TX

  • Ruben, Julissa and Esperanza Garibay says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of loss.
    The Garibay Family

  • Toni Dixon says:

    Bill and Esperanza, my heartfelt sympathy is with you and I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Toni Dixon

  • Rod Zinn says:

    BJ was a former scout of Boy Scout Troop 52 in his younger years. He was always full of energy and well like by all. My prayers and sympathies are with his family and friends.
    Rod Zinn, Scoutmaster Troop 52

  • Celia Herynk says:

    Dear Esperanza and Bill-
    I am so sorry to learn of your loss. I want you to know how much I enjoyed meeting and working with BJ. I can’t even begin to guess how many times he reduced me to wailing laughter. He impressed me as someone who is very brave, authentic, strong, and honest. I won’t ever forget him, he was one of the funniest people I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet. Take care of yourselves, and once again, I’m so sorry.