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The passing of a dear friend

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  • The passing of a dear friend

    I just found out today that a good friend of mine has passed away. Anyone that was in Hawaii in the early 70's to mid 80's will probably remember Buck Buchanan. I am proud to say I knew him, and worked with him in Radio in Hawaii, and I will miss him terribly. Here is his obituary:

    William Edgar (Buck) Buchanan III died August 7, 2005, at Mad River Hospital, Arcata, CA. He had resided in Blue Lake for the past year and a half since moving from Los Angeles and Hollywood where he had spent his childhood and youth and the latter part of his career. Buck was born April 18, 1946, in Atlanta, Georgia, and Edgar and Mildred Buchanan chose him for adoption as their son.

    Edgar and Mildred, both dentists, predeceased Buck. Edgar abandoned dentistry to become a character actor in motion pictures in 1940 and achieved considerable acclaim for his crusty, lovable roles in more than a hundred films and several television series, the last of which was “Petticoat Junction.” Buck was particularly close to his father and could imitate him perfectly. Also predeceasing him were his aunts, Kate Buchanan, Arcata, CA, Kee Groves, Lebanon, OR, and Lova Young, Roseburg, OR, and Bonnie Fisher, Seattle, WA.

    Buck leaves his beloved daughters Sheila Buchanan, Hollywood, Rhonda Buchanan, Sherman Oaks, Amanda Buchanan, Hollywood, and their mother, Dolly Buchanan, Hollywood; an older daughter, Kaui Benson of Laie, HI, and grandchildren Lehiwa, La’akea, and Keha; his aunt, Gayle Karshner, McKinleyville, and his cousins, Bernard Young, Medford, OR, Brooke Constable, New York, NY, Gary Karshner, San Antonio, TX, and Warner Karshner, Gig Harbor, WA.

    He also leaves a host of close friends from throughout his life, for he was a man who loved and enjoyed people. In conversations he was an appreciative, sympathetic listener as well as an entertaining raconteur. His charisma attracted young and old who enjoyed his imitations, stories (the truth often embellished), humor, and positive happy nature.

    Buck’s major career was in radio. He possessed a rich, pleasing voice, wit, strong interviewing skills, and a love and knowledge of popular music. He received his training at California State University at Northridge where he studied radio, television, film, and journalism. His first radio job was in Altoona, PA. In 1971 he moved to Honolulu to be program director and afternoon talk show host for station KORL (ABC). In 1976, when his father’s health failed, he returned to the mainland to continue in radio.

    From 1976 to 1978 he was national program director for several radio stations in the Pittsburgh area. In 1978 and 1979 he was director of station relations and associate producer for Golden Egg Productions in Los Angeles. During this period he was also research director and feature editor of Radio Report Magazine, a national publication.

    In 1979 he returned to Hawaii as owner and operator of Station KZHI (Radio Hawaii) with a staff of 54 people. In 1985 he sold the station and returned to the Los Angeles area. Between 1985 and 1992, at KRTH (RKO), his “The Fifties at Five” was popular with commuters, teenagers, and housewives alike. During his radio career he was well known for his talk shows and interviews with prominent persons in Honolulu, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles.

    From 1996 to 2003 he was employed by Earthlink Network, an internet service provider, working out of Los Angeles in several senior managerial capacities: Macintosh Technical Support, Quality Assurance, Technical Operations, MultiMedia Services, and Production. In 2003, for economic reasons, Earthlink cut 1500 employees from their professional staff, including Buck. It was a devastating loss.

    Buck served on the boards of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, the Pennsylvania Association of Retarded Citizens, the Pittsburgh Historical Society, and the Tri-State Big Brothers. During his brief time in Humboldt County, he served on the Board of the Eureka Symphony and introduced their concerts. He was also active in The Wesleyan Church of the Redwoods, and he valued the friends he made in both organizations.

    Pastor Chuck Clark will conduct a memorial gathering for Buck’s friends in Humboldt County at The Wesleyan Church of the Redwoods, 1645 Fischer Ave., McKinleyville, CA, Saturday, August 27, at 1:00 p.m. Paul’s Chapel in Arcata arranged for cremation; Buck’s ashes will be scattered in Maui by his daughters, following Buck’s wishes.

    It is suggested that memorial contributions be sent to the Eureka Symphony, PO Box 7115, Eureka, CA, or the Wesleyan Church of the Redwoods at the above address.

    Please sign the guest book at click on obits.

    Published in the Eureka Times-Standard on 8/12/2005
    Last edited by Komo; August 30, 2005, 09:58 AM. Reason: forgot to put Buck's name in the title

  • #2
    Re: The passing of a dear friend

    yea, we all knew the voice and the name!
    a hui hou, Buck!


    • #3
      Re: The passing of a dear friend

      Sorry to hear of Buck's passing. I used to listen to him when he was on KORL 650 "People Power" radio. He wrote to me a few years ago and I had this posted here:

      Buck Buchanan at KNUI, KORL & K108
      I'm still here. Are you?


      • #4
        Re: The passing of a dear friend


        • #5
          Re: The passing of a dear friend

          Originally posted by mel
          ... He wrote to me a few years ago and I had this posted...
          that was cool, mel.
          brought back alotta memories!
          Last edited by kimo55; August 30, 2005, 10:28 AM.


          • #6
            Re: The passing of a dear friend

            Back in the early 60's I found a man's watch at Ala Moana beach. I was just a young kid at the time and my mom told me to give it to the lifeguard who's post was near where I found the watch buried in the sand.

            A short while later this haole man came up to me while I was making sand castles and told me the lifeguard pointed me out to him as the finder of the watch.

            We went to my mom where he began to take out his wallet to give me a reward. My mom declined the offer and from that moment she taught me the values of being humble. He asked what he could do for me and I just told him I was happy he had his watch back and that was all I needed. He said he was a columnist for the newspaper and said he'd mention my name.

            And that was my claim to fame when Buck Buchanan told the rest of the world who that little boy was who found his watch and asked for nothing in return. To this day I believe charity comes from the heart and not from the wallet. Lesson learned.

            Thanks for the memories Buck.
            Life is what you make of please read the instructions carefully.


            • #7
              Re: The passing of a dear friend

              Sorry for bumping this thread but I just found out about his passing. I am very sorry to hear it. I knew Buck from 1996 to 2001 while at EarthLink and we became quick friends. We worked together on KELN, an early version of EarthLinks online radio support show, starring himself, which provided support for many an EarthLink customer. He will be sorely missed.


              • #8
                Re: The passing of a dear friend

                I just wanted to share my condolences with Bucks friends and family. Sadly, I only knew him a little while and we never met in person.

                Both Buck and I went through one of those major life changing, life restoring medical procedures that quite frankly are really hard to deal with. We met and then contacted on a board where patients can share what they are going through and provide one another with support, sharing notes.

                We spent many hours on the phone together at a time when we had nothing else to do and I feel got to know one another. We went through a lot of the aspects of both our lives. I think when you are scared of what's going to happen ... in that way your life really does flash before your eyes ... well not flash but the film definitely rolls. We also discovered our mutual love for Hawaii though Bucks time there is much deeper and greater than mine, we still shared.

                Buck provided me with a very great deal of comfort at a time that I really needed it. I hope and I believe that I returned some to him. I want to recognize him here for his great big heart, his deep Aloha that was unflagging even in cold places. I am a better person for knowing him, this I will always remember. He will never be forgotten by me.

                I am just so sad to hear that Buck has passed. I'm sorry to be posting this so late, but I lost touch with him (I now know why) and did not know. I know he went knowing that he was going to a better place. The man did have a very special faith. If anyone happens to know his family, please pass my condolences to them.

                Geoffrey Feldman


                • #9
                  Re: Craig Watanabe & Buck's watch

                  Can't believe the coincidence: On that particular day in question, I had taken Buck out on my Hobie Cat. We left from the Hilton beach and the ocean, once you got out of the lea of the hotels- was rough. At the time, Buck was no ''skinny minnie". We ended up capsizing the Hobie, and with great effort, I was able to right it. Buck had been swept off and was treading water as best he could, about 40 yards away--too far for him to swim to me. I decided to try a modified moving pickup. This wasn't going to work. Nothing seemed to be successful. He was tiring also. Finally I succeeded in hauling him over the front support near the mast.

                  After resting a bit, Buck discovered that he'd lost his watch. I didn't notice whether he'd had it on when we started.

                  I guess during the excitment he didn't realize that he'd taken it off on the beach.

                  Most likely, due to Buck's karma, it was found and turned in by Mr. Watanabe.


                  • #10
                    Re: The passing of a dear friend

                    Hmmmmm.. Memories...

                    I was Buck's girlfriend in the 10th grade at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California.

                    When I "left" Taft, i lost touch with Buck. Boy, we sure had some madcap zany experiences together.

                    One night in the 80s after my daughter was born, I happened to turn on the radio and heard his voice booming out over the air waves, he was calling people "Buckaroos!" That's what caught my attention. It was one of those "Oldies but Goodies" stations. There was a call-in request number, so I rang.

                    I told the woman that answered that I had been Buck's high school sweetie, and she replied. "This should be good!" She put me right through to him, and on the air, in my breathiest little voice I said, "Hello Bucky?" His reply was, "I had better take this off the air, no one has called me Bucky since my mother!"

                    We chatted for a few minutes and he said he'd call back when he was off the air. It was a few days before he finally did. I was on my way to France, to make a movie, so we never did get to go out for coffee or to meet. I think he was having problems at home...

                    Some of my happiest memories of High School Days were the fun things and practical jokes we manifested either on each other or on others.

                    I remember he was responsible for me carrying one half of the banner in
                    the parade when Hidden Hills became incorporated. Mickey Rooney junior carried the other side. We all wound up in MIckey's barn afterwards playing around and drinking beer in the hay just like in all those old one reel westerns we grew up on.

                    Buck changed the course of my life. All the attention from the photographers and journalists and other kids, started me on my road to wanting to be in the public eye. Now I have a very successful career. Several of them in fact, all because of this boy who thought I was pretty enough to be in "pitchers" as he used to say!

                    He lives on in our collective memories.