About Us

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, age 96, still lives his life as a bucketfiller, and resides with Peter in Howell, MI.

"Your Teacher Orientation was excellent.  I met with several of the teachers and as I usually do when we have such a meeting, I asked them to rate it 1 -10.  They all said "20"!"

Michael Zahm, Principal
New Britton Elementary School
Fishers, IN
"My 6th grader came home today and wrote the most beautiful examples of why he loves and respects his little brother. I’m not sure what kind of event you had at school today, January 28, 2009, but this truly is the most amazing experience we had at home in a long time. I just wanted to take a moment to say that it was great. My boys fight like siblings do, some days more than others. Today (my son) wrote about (his brother). (His brother) listened with tears in his eyes, sensitive to the fact that his big brother really does love him. I have to say that this is one of the most memorable events experienced at Crissman. Totally awesome! Thanks."

A Grateful Parent
Crissman Elementary School
Utica School District
Shelby Township, MI
“Thank you Mike for visiting our school and sharing so many awesome bucketfilling ideas with our students. Your presentations were engaging and beneficial to all of our students and staff members. You definitely filled many buckets here!”

Teresa Simmons, Principal, Arrowhead Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ