William James 'BJ' Backman Eudora

Paid family tribute

He is and always will be himself.
Memorial services for William James “BJ” Backman, 32, of Eudora, will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at Warren McElwain Mortuary. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.
BJ died November 5, 2010 at the home of his aunt and uncle, Ruth Ann and Bill Gutierrez, in Lawrence. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and was raised in Lawrence. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1996 and was attending the University of Kansas until the time of his illness.
BJ was many things — artist, gamer, son, friend and, most of all, himself. Many people like to quote “to thine own self be true,” but BJ lived it. No one who met him could doubt that he was truly himself and those who loved him loved him for that.
A man of strong opinions, he reserved the strongest for his true calling — art. BJ worked in many mediums, including photography, sculpture, weaving and paint. Whenever someone visited, BJ would always show off his latest artwork and ask for an opinion of it. He wished to be a high school art teacher so that he could inspire kindred talents. He would have made a great one, as those who knew him carry a richer appreciation and understanding of art for knowing him.
He passed surrounded by friends and family, the people who loved him and will miss him. While the world will be poorer without him in it, his friends and family will always have a special place for him in their hearts and memory. He is truly loved and missed.
He is survived by: his mother and father, Esperanza and Bill Martin of Harlingen, TX; stepbrother, Bill Martin of Denver, CO; an uncle who was raised in the family home as a “big brother,” Eric Martin of Lenexa, KS; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; his cat, Melvin; and his beloved dogs, Maya and Poe.
The family suggests memorials to Grace Hospice, the LMH Endowment Association (Oncology Center) or the American Cancer Society, sent in care of the mortuary at 120 W. 13th, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. Online condolences may be sent at

This information was provided to the Journal-World as a paid tribute.