Buff Carmichael remembered


Buff Carmichael II, 73, of Springfield, died at 6:25 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at his residence.

Buff was born on July 2, 1947, in Waco, TX, the son of Buff and Leona Beatrice (Falkner) Carmichael. He married Jerry Dean Bowman on September 20, 2014, in Clinton. Jerry preceded him in death on June 3, 2017.

Buff graduated from Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and worked as a Funeral Director and Embalmer in Texas. After moving to Springfield,  Buff worked for the State of Illinois with the EMS and Nuclear Safety. Buff was the co-creator of Prairie Flame with his late husband, Jerry. He was the founder and member of the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) and was instrumental in creating the AIDS Memorial at Lincoln Park. Buff was a board member and volunteer at Fifth Street Renaissance SARA Center, a volunteer for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), a huge supporter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) a local chapter board member of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a volunteer and youth mentor at the Phoenix Center, a volunteer for the Abraham Lincoln Museum, and was a member of Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation. In addition to his advocacy,  Buff loved camping and sharing stories with anyone who would listen.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his husband, Jerry; and sisters, Carol Carlsen and Nada Bell.

Buff is survived by his children, Trey Carmichael, Janna Doyle, Erin Agee, and James Hunter Carmichael; numerous grandchildren; sister, Judy Lohmann; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Thank you to Lori for her time, love and dedication in caring for Buff.  Thank you to Lori’s family, Harry, Jim and Crystal, Matt and Amanda, Jamie, Jason and many others who sacrificed their wife, mom, grandma and friend so that she coud fulfill her promise to care for Buff.  Thank you to Kindred Hospice, especially Charity, Melissa & Morgan for their professional and compassionate care.  Thank you to Sheila Morris for her love and dedication as well as her daily visits.  Thank you to Bert Morton for his friendship and weekly visits.  Finally, thank you to some of Buff’s special friends, Bill and Kurt, Gail and her family, Rodney, Ann, and April and Paula who never failed to check in on Buff and those providing the around the clock care.

Graveside Ceremony: 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2021, at Oak Ridge Cemetery with Rev. Martin E. Woulfe officiating. Please meet at the cemetery gates on Monument Avenue at 12:15 p.m. for procession to the graveside.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fifth Street Renaissance SARA Center, 1315 N. 5th Street, Springfield, IL 62702 or Acorn Equality Fund, P.O. Box 6286, Peoria, IL 61601.

The family is being served by Butler Funeral Home – Springfield, 900 S. Sixth Street, Springfield.

The Celebration of Life for Buff Carmichael will be held on Saturday, July 3 (Buff’s birthday) at the AIDS Memorial Labyrinth, starting at noon.



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