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Merrill Lundgren "The Bucket Man"

Merrill Lundgren “The Bucket Man”

MEET THE FIRST MAN TO TEACH BUCKET FILLING TO CHILDREN

Merrill H. Lundgren was affectionately dubbed “The Bucket Man” over 12 years ago by middle-school students in his first classroom workshop.

Although The Bucket Man has used the metaphor of the bucket and dipper (created 50 years ago by the late Dr. Donald O. Clifton) since 1979 in his well-known quality-of-life seminars, he did not bring the message to schools until 2003.  Since that day in May, the excellent reputation and powerful ripple effects of Merrill’s programs have spread throughout the country.  His work has inspired the creation of several children’s books about bucket filling, and inspired son Peter Lundgren to create Bucketfillers For Life in 2007.

Merrill is proud to have served in the U.S. Army Military Police during World War II.  He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day + 4, and he received five Battle Stars for his two years of service in Europe through the end of the conflict.  In 1994, Peter compiled a manuscript of hundreds of letters that Merrill wrote to his wife, Edna, during the war.  The manuscript, Almost at the Front expertly weaves his letters into actual war events taking place at that time. The manuscript was subsequently discovered by British war historians at the Second World War Experience Centre in Leeds, England.  It, along with some of Merrill’s original letters, is on display at the centre.

The Bucket Man says “My dream of leaving a legacy of love and caring is being realized in ways I could not have imagined.  Thousands and thousands of children have benefited from this message.”

Merrill Lundgren died on January 10, 2016 at the age of 96. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

“Just a brief note of thanks for the wonderful assemblies and workshops presented to our students, staff, and parents last week. I was so pleased with the launch of the Bucketfillers For Life program at Lake Grove. I loved to see the students laughing, singing, and joining in on the fun. I hope this is just the beginning of a lasting partnership!’”

Sara Deboy, Principal
Lake Grove Elementary School
Lake Oswego, OR
“You showed me things that I didn’t see before. Three things that I will do to keep this going are write a letter to everyone in my family, try to be nicer and not yell as much. Thank you for helping me understand things I never understood before.”

Amber, a Student
“Kelly provided an enthusiastic presentation to our students and our staff! In a school of over 1,100 students, Kelly’s presentation demonstrated that bucketfilling spirit, and our students were engaged and have been talking about Bucketfilling since! Our staff includes forty teachers in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, and the complexity of a staff of this size with varied interests did not stop Kelly! We spoke over the phone before hand, and Kelly designed a training session that treated our staff professionally, and reflected the importance of being Bucketfiller – even if you’re a grown up!’”

Cindy Venolia
Principal, Stone Ranch Elementary School
San Diego, CA.