ESCANABA - Wendell "Buck" Curtis Buckland passed away on Monday, June 3, 2013, one day shy of his 58th wedding anniversary, surrounded by his family and friends. All who knew him recognized Buck's faith, love, strength and zest for life in times of both happiness and adversity.
Buck was born on July 16, 1929, in Escanaba, to John Arthur Buckland and Lempe "Lovia" Sophie (Vennie) Buckland. He graduated from Escanaba High School in 1947. Buck attended the University of Michigan to study Architecture, and graduated from Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering in 1953.
After college, Buck joined the U.S. Army and served as a member of the Counter Intelligence Corps in Korea, and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1954.
Upon returning to the States, he married the former Anita "Joan" Johnson of Escanaba on June 4, 1955, and she survives him. Together they had three children, Karin Buckland Van Dyke, Houghton; Jim, Portage; and Julie Buckland Barnes (Blaine), St. Paul, Minn. Also surviving are four grandchildren; Andrew Jacob Van Dyke, Sarah Jane Van Dyke, Katherine Grace Buckland, and Emma Sophie Barnes; several sisters and brothers in law, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Buck was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth Buckland, and granddaughter Hannah Elizabeth Van Dyke.
As a youth, Buck excelled in academics and athletics, earning the prestigious Herman Gessner Trophy as the top academic athlete at Escanaba High School. He continued to utilize his leadership talents in college, and throughout his professional and civic career as a mentor with Jr. Achievement; Portage Central High School Ski Club; MTU Alumni Association Board of Directors; City of Portage and Texas Township Planning Commission, and various committees at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. A recent moment of pride was having a second third-generation family member graduate from Michigan Tech.
Buck's professional career included work with several companies including Corning Glass, Gerber Baby Food Company, and Pillsbury. The majority of his career was with the Upjohn Company, where he retired in 1990 as the Manager of Area Engineering.
In his retirement, Buck continued his enjoyment of athletics and attending sporting events, watercolor painting, choral music, church activities, volunteering, house design and landscaping, cooking, golf and traveling. Always living life to the fullest, Buck treasured time spent with his family and friends including his area engineering group, golfing buddies, and the beloved "Petoskey Gems" group in which he and Joan shared lifelong friendships. His easy grin, broad smile, deep voice and hearty laugh will be missed by all.
A memorial service will be held 6:30 p.m. Monday evening, June 10th, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W. Milham Ave. Buck's family will receive guests one hour prior to the service and again following the service. On Wednesday, June 13 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba, 2200 Ludington Street, a visitation will take place from 3-4 p.m., followed by Military Rites at 4 p.m. Interment will be at the Garden of Rest Cemetery in Escanaba.
Those wishing to offer a memorial in Buck's honor are kindly asked to consider: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W. Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49024, National MS Society Michigan Chapter, 21311 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, MI 48076 or the Escanaba Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 735, Escanaba, MI 49931. Expressions of sympathy and online condolences may be directed to the Buckland family at andersonfuneralhomes.net.