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Unsung Heroes: Newt & Stick Buker (aka Oma & Opa), grandparents extraordinaire


Seattle's Child is proud to once again sponsor the Unsung Heroes being honored in February by the Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington.

Nominations are accepted from around the state and and include biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofit organizations; some mentor others in their communities. All honorees are true heroes: outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.

Stick & Newt Buker


My parents Newt & Stick Buker (of Olympia) are unsung heroes. They lost their eldest son in 2011 and a second son (Mike) died in 2013. Mike left behind a wife and two young kids, and Oma & Opa (Newt & Stick) stepped in to help.

While their mom is at work, the kids are at Oma & Opa’s before and after school. Their house has become a popular hangout for the kids and their friends, where they come after school – first it’s homework and practice (piano & clarinet) time – and then hang out with friends.

During school vacations the kids (and usually their friends, too) are at Oma & Opa’s house; Oma always comes up with projects (making ornaments, teaching them to cook, etc.) and Opa helps with homework and music practice.

Oma and Opa never miss a concert, after-school event, parent/teacher conference, etc. With their guidance, the kids have gone through losing their dad to become successful, thriving young people (now ages 10 and 15). Beyond that, Newt created, then wrote/directed/sang/acted in "WOW, Wrinkles of Washington" and the same later with Entertainment Explosion, a Senior singing/dancing troupe that has earned many thousands of dollars for homeless kids in Thurston County.


Nominated by: Reid Buker

More Unsung Heroes

Read about all of this year's nominees



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