Lyman “Buddy” M. Black Jr. was born in Greenville, South Carolina on July 26th, 1956 to Lyman and Jeanne Black. He died, surrounded by his loving family, in the wee hours of the morning on August 1st, 2023 after an eighteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
The first thing to say about Buddy is he was a man of absolute faith. He lived for others, and he hated how his failing health so often took center stage in his final months. With two daughters, three sisters, and three sisters-in-law, his lot in life was being surrounded by mother hens. His wife, Rita, was an absolute champion for his care. He joked with everyone who visited that her extra care was his curative “Vita-Rita-Regimen” (if you know you know). He always knew how to get a laugh, all the way to the end. Rita’s care extended the beautiful time we had with him. What a precious gift we all get to carry.
Buddy was such a bright and creative person. When he had opportunities to be creative or have a theological conversation he lit up. He graduated from East Carolina University with a visual art degree. He went on to work in the art department at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now Lifeway) in Nashville in 1981. This is where he met the love of his life, Rita Lambert, where one fine day she rear-ended his car pulling out of the parking garage. They were fated, in the romantic comedy sort-of-way. Buddy and Rita wed on April 14th, 1984 at First Baptist Nashville. They built a life in Franklin, TN before Buddy’s job led them to Edmond, Oklahoma in 1996. After a job loss, God provided a way back to Tennessee in 2005 where Buddy got to spend his parents’ final special years closeby. He treasured this time.
In the last twelve years of his life, Buddy got the privilege to work with his friend of 34 years, Steve Barnes. Buddy built wonderful relationships through his business with Epic Solutions. So dedicated in fact, that he didn’t even tell many of his customers what he was going through toward the end. He toted his laptop to chemo and answered calls through sickness because that’s who he was. Dedicated. Hardworking. Kind. Genuine.
Buddy is preceded in death by his mother Jeanne Black, and father Lyman Black. He is survived by his wife, Rita Lambert Black, daughters Aubrey Black (Payce Goldsmith), Rachel Black Lessing (Eli), and grandson Theodore “Teddy Bear” Lessing. He leaves behind four doting siblings who have been so devoted in providing care over his cancer battle: Benjamin (Susan) Black of Ocala, Florida; Susan (Rene) Kendall of Franklin, North Carolina; Tammy (Mitch) Hobby of Paris, TN; and Sharon (Scott) Watson of Murray, KY. Buddy was blessed and leaves behind so many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He wins the award of funnest uncle for countless nieces and nephews who will cling to memories of goofy games and amusing antics. He was always a child at heart, and he spread joy like fire.
Buddy also spread his faith like fire. He was a faithful servant of God, just like his father before him. After his diagnosis, Buddy was adamant his illness would bring people together and bring the lost to the feet of Jesus. He wrote letters and journals sharing how his diagnosis impacted his walk with Jesus, and he praised his Savior through some of the worst suffering someone could endure. Those who witnessed his final months marveled at his positivity and resolve. And now his family will carry the torch. Praise be to Jesus Christ that we got to have him and witness his impact. Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.
Visitation will be on Friday, August 4th from 2pm-6pm at Williamson Memorial 3009 Columbia Ave in Franklin, TN.
A celebration of life will take place on Saturday from 10am-12pm at Buddy’s church, Clearview Baptist. 537 Franklin Rd, Building A, Franklin, TN.