1938 - 2020
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W. BUCKY HOWARD JR On Sunday, May 16, 2020, W. "Bucky" Howard Jr. loving husband, father, and legendary casino gaming executive lost his battle with stage four cancer at the age of 81. Bucky was born on August 21, 1938 in Phenix City Alabama to W. Buck Sr. and Alice Howard. He was born into gaming; his family owned and operated an illicit casino in Alabama. Legend has it he started working in the casino at age 6. He graduated from Auburn University on a baseball scholarship where he was a star player. Bucky moved to Las Vegas and started as a dealer at The Sahara on his 21st birthday. He then spent many years of his career at The Las Vegas Hilton where he created the world's first 24 hour baccarat pit. Later, Bucky was offered a position he couldn't pass up and moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey to lead the opening of the Golden Nugget. The competitive environment in Atlantic City at that time really brought out the best in him. He worked for several resorts including the Tropicana, the Showboat, and Trump's Castle and Taj Mahal. He became the Pied Piper of Atlantic City as everyone who wanted to be somebody in the casino business wanted to be like Bucky. Working his way up from a dealer to President and COO of multiple properties shows his strong work ethic and love of the business. He always said you have to treat all people nice and fair and never talk down to them; and that is how he led his life. He was a true animal lover who spent many weekends with his wife at dog shows and caring for their desert tortoise. Bucky told the best stories about gaming, old Vegas, and baseball. Everyone that met him was captivated by his adventures and hoped to one day be like him. Out of all of the positions he held, the title of father was his favorite. He was a family man who would do anything for his loved ones. He was known by everyone to always be positive, uplifting, and full of life, and that is always how he will be remembered. Bucky was preceded in death by his father W. Buck Sr., his mother Alice, and sister in-law Debra Jo. He is survived by his wife Trenna, his three children Jeff (Shannon), Terane (Kelly), and Bucky III (Jessica), his brother Mike, his grandsons Whitman and Preston, granddaughter Leah, Brother In-laws Douglas and Edward, Sister In-laws Jackie, Dawnie, and Verna, and many nieces and nephews. A large celebration of life will hopefully be held at the end of August when it safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that you make a donation in support of Nevada Ballet Theatre's Future Dance Education and Outreach Programs in memory of W. "Bucky" Howard. Please use this provided link: https://secure.donationpay.org/nevadaballet/IMOBucky.php

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Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on May 30, 2020.
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6 entries
July 6, 2020
I was lucky enough to have worked with Bucky at the Golden Nugget in AC. He was a wonderful man to work for and helped me to further my carrier in the casino industry. My Deepest sympathies to his family. I will never forget him and will remember him warmly. He will truly be missed by all who knew him. Be at Peace
Cassandra Clay
June 1, 2020
Carolyn and I send our deepest sympathy to Trenna and all of Buckys family and close friends on his resent passing. He certainly will be missed, but long remembered.
I was fortunate to have Bucky join my executive team at Trumps Castle in 1992, where he was instrumental in engineering our successful turnaround at that Atlantic City casino. Profit was important to Bucky, but more importantly to him, was the fostering of an environment where both employees wanted to work and customers wanted to play and enjoy themselves. Employees and customers in Atlantic City followed this man to whatever casino he worked in, and he always made working with him so fun. Even though I only worked directly with Bucky for three years, I must admit, that many of Buckys traits and management methods wore off on me. I found myself modifying some of my own behaviors to mirror his, because they worked so well.
My wife and I were able to enjoy some fond memories of our Atlantic City Casino days at a private dinner at our home a few months before his passing, and I will treasure those moments. Rest in Peace Old Friend
Roger Wagner
May 31, 2020
Bucky taught me many lessons that stayed with me through my career...and life. He was an inspiration as a leader. In the early years of Atlantic City he showed this young girl (at the time) that you always work hard and treat everyone as equals. My thoughts are with Trenna and his family. RIP Bucky and thank you.
Carol Ann
Carol Ann Scola
May 31, 2020
It's been about 40 years since I had interaction with Bucky Howard, but his friendliness, Georgia accent and love for animals stand out in my mind. RIP Bucky.
Mark Dolginoff
May 30, 2020
My deepest condolences to the Howard family on your loss. Bucky was one of the finest and all time favorite bosses who I learned so much from. God Bless you Bucky.
Ken Mumby
May 30, 2020
Bucky was a wonderful man. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
Tom and Diane Quam
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