Brenda Diane Buck

June 24, 1947 ~ August 17, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Life Story

Brenda Diane Buck was born June 24, 1947, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Lawrence Chase and Glenna Jean Buck. As she was her father’s “TeeDee” (short for “Tiny Devil”), the name with which she would always be associated, came into existence. After the passing of her father, at an early age, life was anything but easy for TeeDee, her mother and siblings. Instead of shrinking in the midst of adversity, TeeDee developed a strength of character that was unequaled and unmatched.

As a youth, her athletic prowess on the football field, with the neighborhood boys, (something rare for girls in the 1950’s and 1960’s), earned TeeDee the honor of being called “Touchdown.” In 1965, she graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School. In 1970, she decided to move to Detroit, Michigan – a move that would forever change the trajectory of her life, because it was there that she met and fell in love with the father of her only son, Kenneth Williams, Sr.

Observing the citywide decline that was beginning to happen in Detroit, during the late 1970’s, TeeDee decided to bare and raise her son, in Grand Rapids. In 1977, Brenda gave birth to a 7lb 4 ½ oz baby boy. As a mother, TeeDee was dedicated, devoted and unwavering in equipping her son with the tools he would need to navigate the many challenges of being a Black man in America. During bath time and at bedtime, Brenda would read her son Shakespeare, Chaucer and tales of the Greek myths. She made it a point, even with very limited resources, to expose her son to tutelage in the fine arts and foreign languages. He was her life, and she was his everything.

TeeDee earned her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and pursued a career as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher, in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. As a Black woman, she believed in the power and dignity of her people and made it a point that her labor benefited the community that bore, raised and nurtured her.

A myriad of health issues could not stop her from enjoying nature and the beauty of God’s creation. The happiest times in her life were spent with her partner, Ronald (Ronny) Belcher, rusticating in Idlewild, Michigan. As a near-Olympic swimmer, she enjoyed time in the water, just as much as long rides on the pontoon boat. She was even known to don a bit of camouflage, during hunting season!

Brenda’s strength, quick wit and sharp tongue were tempered only by her deep love and dedication to her family and friends. If a soldier was needed, TeeDee would be the very first to enlist and report for duty. Preceded to God’s presences by her brothers, Richard Jackson and Lawrence Chase Buck, Jr., she leaves her son, the love of her life, Kenneth (Kenny) Williams-Buck, her devoted sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn Jean Evans and the Rev. Royce Evans, as well as one sister-in-law, Ronna Jackson, and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins, to cherish her memory. In addition to her biological family, her memory is honored by nine foster-siblings, Rodney (Cookie) Grady, Lolita Grady, Robert Grady, Kevin Grady, Kerri Taylor, Patricia Taylor, Yvonne Grady, Sonya Grady and Melinda Grady.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Brenda, on Monday, August 28, 2023, at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, located at 215 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Viewing and fellowship will be held from 9:30am-10:00am, with the Celebration of Life to immediately follow. Burial will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery, located at 2530 Kalamazoo Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan. Services entrusted to Crystal T. Hardley 616-813-8351.

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August 28, 2023

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM
Cathedral of St. Andrews
301 Sheldon St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Celebration of Life
August 28, 2023

10:00 AM
Cathedral of St. Andrews
301 Sheldon St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


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