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
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
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 www.times-standard.com click on obits.