January 27, 2010

Von Bucher ’12 Succumbs to Injuries

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Correction appended.

Mark von Bucher ’12 died Tuesday night from head injuries he suffered while skiing in Utah during Winter Break. A brother in the Psi Upsilon fraternity, von Bucher was a pre-vet student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“He was a really nice guy, and had everything going for him,” said James Bellis ’11, a member of Psi Upsilon. Bellis said he counted von Bucher as one of his best friends. “Everyone loved him. I’m going to miss him very much.”

Von Bucher had been with a friend at the time of the injury, according to a family member.

He was active on campus as a member of the club soccer team and was also an animal enthusiast, which influenced his pre-vet studies. He owned geckos and huskies, and Bellars said the two friends bought flying squirrels together. The squirrels still reside in Bellis’ room.

“He loved animals,” said Joe Nocciolino ’11, a brother in Psi Upsilon who played soccer with von Bucher. Nocciolino noted that von Bucher had “one of the most vibrant personalities I’ve ever seen.”

According to Bellis, von Bucher had received a new skiing helmet for Christmas. If he had not been wearing the helmet when the accident occurred on Jan. 7, he may have died immediately, Bellis said.

An online CarePages blog had been set up by his family, updating well-wishers on von Bucher’s status, and a Facebook page was organized by friends. The CarePages received significant traffic, and the final post announcing his death had received 188 responses as of last night.

“He had a very stressful day yesterday with a very high, dangerous heart rate and very rapid breathing. It was as if his brain was firing on all cylinders at once and they couldn’t get it under control,” wrote “Team Mark” on the CarePages site yesterday morning. “Finally his heart stopped, and they couldn’t get it started again. His beautiful brain was just too damaged,”

“He was a great, great friend,” Nocciolino said.

“Mark was that person everyone loved. He was an amazing friend to all who knew him. Memories of him remain forever, among the best in my head,” wrote Lauren Eichelberger on the CarePages blog. “Today was a blow to us all, the pain of this loss will be everlasting.”

A native of Rochester, NY, von Bucher attended high school at Allendale Columbia School. A memorial service for von Bucher was held Wednesday.

An earlier version of this story contained several errors. It incorrectly identified von Bucher as junior when, in fact, he was a sophomore. The story incorrectly stated that von Bucher was involved in a snowboarding accident. He was, in fact, involved in a skiing accident. The story mischaracterized von Bucher’s ski partners as a members of Psi Upsilon fraternity at Cornell. According to a family member, he was skiing with another friend. The story also erroneously reported that a memorial service was in the process of being planned for von Bucher. In fact, a memorial service had already been held on Wednesday. The article also misspelled the name of von Bucher’s friends, James Bellis ’11 and Joe Nocciolino ’11. The Sun regrets these errors.

Original Author: Michael Linhorst