John T. Buck
The most interesting man in the world has gone to meet his maker. John Buck, 76, passed away Aug. 7, 2018 at St. Andrews Village, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. He was a teacher, a shopkeeper and an adventurer. When asked about the safety hazards of the old clunker he used to drive, he said, “I like to live on the edge.” And that he did.
Mr. Buck was his preferred form of address. He leaves behind three grandkids by his daughter Heather: Amos, and twins Thomas and Cyrus. When the eldest was born, he was asked what the grandchild should call him, and his first response was, “Mister Buck.” He eventually settled on “PawPaw,” a moniker fitting for the boys who live south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Mr. Buck was born in Boothbay Harbor, March 01, 1942, the son of Clifford Buck and Katherine (Thompson) Buck. Back in the 1940s they did not have ultrasound technology, and no one knew his mother had been carrying twins. John’s brother Bill was delivered first, and then the doctor said, “Something else is trying to come out – it must be a tumor!” And that tumor was John.
He attended local schools, and graduated from Boothbay Harbor High School. In college, at the University of Maine at Machias, he lived off-campus, and partied so much that his landlord evicted him. Compelled to take up residency in the dorms, Mr. Buck was perhaps the only person in the history of Maine school system to get kicked onto campus.
He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, was a member of the American Legion Post in Boothbay, and a member of the Masonic Lodge.
John taught business and accounting at Mount Ararat High School, and later owned and operated Handy Andy’s convenience store in Yarmouth. In his retirement he worked for Lewiston Variety under the honorific of clerk emeritus.
He served in the Maine State Legislature where he made entertaining speeches from the floor, once citing the statue of Minerva that sits atop the state house as disgraced for the lack of wisdom demonstrated by the politicians working below her.
In the 1960s he lived out west developing computerized time-stamp machines for workers clocking in for their shifts. He understood computers well until the advent of smartphones. He could never figure out how to check his voicemail. Mr. Buck was a man of learning, and read unceasingly. His daughter, Sarah, once took a measuring tape to his personal library and calculated that he had 200 square feet of books. He had been writing a book about the Horatio Hall, a steamship captained by his grandfather. Sarah, a writer herself, plans to compile his research and release the book posthumously.
A constant traveler, he spent many winters in Clearwater, Florida and in the summertime he found guest rooms in homes across the state of Maine. His own home in Boothbay Harbor is nicknamed “The Bilge” – a party house where the whiskey flowed and everyone was welcome.
Mr. Buck was predeceased by his wife, Pauline Buck; his sister, Barbara Buck Grover; and his twin brother, Bill Buck, who used to raise all kind of hell with him. They enlisted in the Air Force together, and during basic training, Mr. Buck was unable to pass the rifle exam. He switched dog tags with Bill, and became a sharpshooter overnight.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of John Buck will be held on Monday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. at Hall Funeral Home and Tribute Center, 975 Wiscasset Rd., Boothbay.