Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Co-op legend Luther Buchele dies at age 88

5. August 2008 • Murph
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Luther H. Buchele, who served as the first Executive Secretary and General Manager of Ann Arbor’s Inter-Cooperative Council from 1951 to 1985, died August 1 after a car crash. Buchele had previously helped found the University of Kansas Student Cooperative Association while a student there, was in 1987 inducted into the National Cooperative Hall of Fame.

His involvement in Ann Arbor’s co-op housing system and the National Association of Student Co-operatives (NASCO) continued until his death, including leading a lunchtime sing-along of progressive- and depression-era labor songs at NASCO’s annual conferences. The ICC’s Luther House at 1510-1520 Hill Street (previously the home to John Sinclair and the White Panther Party) is named in his honor.

A memorial website has been set up at, and a Luther Buchele Memorial Scholarship Fund set up at the ICC. (Send donations to ICC, 337 N. William, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.)

  1. Why are they picketing the Co-op?

       —The Colonel    Aug. 13 '08 - 07:25AM    #
  2. It is some kind of boycott over Israel and Iran. One segment was recently broadcast over YouTube. I don’t know if was somehow motivated in part by Luther Buchele’s demise but I hope someone can shed more light on the picketing.

       —Mark Koroi    Aug. 13 '08 - 09:45AM    #
  3. This is off-topic; please read the article, don’t just scan for your favorite keywords in the headline. (Also, please leave a real email address. We won't give it out to anyone else, but we may use it to contact you.)

       —Bruce Fields    Aug. 13 '08 - 07:06PM    #
  4. Bruce,
    The Co-op movement has often boycotted grapes to protect farmworkers, and boycotted Coke to protect the Third World. There are at least 3 recent instances where thousands of Co-op members were absorbed in the same boycott debates, about boycotting Israel. (In California, Pennsylvania, and Ann Arbor).

    And yes, there is a video on the subject, seen by thousands of people, if you will allow the video to be posted here:

    Video on Ann Arbor Debating Boycott Against Israel, at the Co-op

       —Blaine Coleman    Aug. 13 '08 - 08:32PM    #
  5. Different Co-op, Colonel. As far as I know, nobody is boycotting the Inter-Cooperative Council (the student housing co-ops), the organization that Buchele was involved in.

    Blaine and others have been picketing the People’s Food Co-operative, a grocery store and unrelated institution, because the PFC stocks a few items that are made in Israel, and the picketers believe this makes the PFC complicit in Israeli actions against Palestine. (The PFC held a membership referendum, and the membership rejected a boycott of Israel-exported goods, a category which includes some Palestinian-produced products.)

    Hopefully that answers your question; as Bruce noted, though, it’s unrelated to this topic, except for one word that’s the same.

       —Murph    Aug. 13 '08 - 08:43PM    #
  6. The ICC website contains a link to the People’s Food Co-op and also a description of the People’s Food Co-op, so that is where the confusion may originate; there is, however no affiliation between the two co-ops, nor any relationship btweeen Mr. Buchele and the People’s Food Co-op that I can discern.

       —Mark Koroi    Aug. 14 '08 - 02:33AM    #
  7. Hello,
    I never met this man, but I lived at the North Campus Student Co-op from May, ’91 to April, ’95. I have many fond memories. I met so many wonderful people. Never a dull moment at NCC!

    I just want to say, Thank You, Mr. Buchele. You may not know how much good you did with the student co-op system. It worked. It taught.
    Julie Murray
    Former Muffin Baker

       —Julie Murray    Sep. 1 '08 - 11:25PM    #
  8. flickr-dot-com-slash-photos-slash-velcrodobes

       —Julie Murray    Sep. 1 '08 - 11:28PM    #