Community leader Bucy dies at 69

Harriet Bucy, the Rock Hill school district's community leadership director, paints a timeline of the history of the school district in June 2005.
Harriet Bucy, the Rock Hill school district's community leadership director, paints a timeline of the history of the school district in June 2005.

The woman who created a legacy by forging partnerships between Rock Hill schools and the community has died.

Harriet Bucy, who started the school district's Community Leadership and Support Program, which brought the schools, community and business partners together, died Thursday night of an apparent heart attack. She was 69.

In her 30 years in Rock Hill, Bucy was an avid artist, a teacher and an activist in her church, the city, the schools and community organizations.

Bucy was one of the founders of the Rock Hill School District Foundation, which provides thousands of dollars in teacher grants each year.

"Harriet was very active in the community," said Elaine Baker, spokeswoman for Rock Hill schools and a friend of Bucy's. "She knew that to get the program started she had to be a part of community organizations and clubs. She got out there and met with everyone that would meet with her, became a member of their organizations, provided them information and got them involved in the school system."

Bucy was instrumental in helping Rock Hill gain recognition as one of the 100 best communities for young people, a distinction given by America's Promise, an alliance of non-profit, corporate and civic groups.

Just last week, Bucy accepted the award at a meeting of the Rock Hill City Council.

"It leaves a tremendous void because of all that she was involved in and all that she accomplished," Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said. "Others will step forward, of course, but her contributions will live on for a long, long time."

When she wasn't volunteering to help others, Bucy enjoyed traveling, gardening and spending time with her two young grandsons.

"She just doted on them," said longtime friend Mary Hall. "When you get to be 70 years old your grandchildren get to be the bright spot in your life."

In addition to her grandsons, Bucy is survived by her husband, John, and three sons, Doug, Greg and Brad. Her family said she was every bit as generous with her love at home as she was in the community.

"She gave of herself to not only us, but everybody that she came in contact with," said Doug Bucy, her oldest child. "We were lucky children growing up."

Bucy's love of art is something that will stick with her family forever. She painted murals at schools, created pieces for friends and family members, donated her work to raffles and fundraisers and was part-way through creating a mural at her church, St. John's United Methodist.

"All of our homes are filled with her artwork, so everywhere you turn you see a piece of her," said Greg Bucy, her middle child. "It's something that we'll all have."

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel at 2133 Ebenezer Road. The funeral will be at 4 p.m. Monday at St. John's United Methodist Church.

Jessica Schonberg • 329-4072

Want to help?

Memorials in honor of Harriet Bucy can be made to the following organizations:

St. John's United Methodist Church Building Foundation

PO Box 149

Rock Hill, SC 29731

The American Cancer Society

6000 Fairview Road

Suite 200

Charlotte, NC 28210

American Red Cross

200 Piedmont Blvd.

Rock Hill, SC 29732