Rest in Peace

James Oliver Buchanan Jr.

September 24, 1915 – March 9, 2010


James Oliver “Buck” Buchanan, Jr., age 94, died peacefully Tuesday morning at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh. He was an unfailing resource to his community, his state, and his country.

Buck was born in the Red Hill community of Jones County, MS, near Sandersville and Laurel. He was the second child of James Oliver Buchanan Sr. and Annie Dowling Buchanan, descendants of English and Scottish settlers who followed the Natchez Trace from North Carolina to Mississippi in the early 1800’s.

Buck graduated from Sandersville High School and earned his B.S. degree in agriculture education from Mississippi State University in 1937. In 1939, he moved to North Carolina to fill the position of high school vocational agricultural teacher in Hyde County. He later joined the Farm Security Administration as County Supervisor in Nash and Sampson Counties. Thus began a forty-two year career with the Federal Government. Most of those years were spent with the Farmers Home Administration where he served as chief of Rural Housing until 1981 when he retired. Buck traveled throughout North Carolina to assist farmers with credit that would enable them to enlarge and improve their homes and facilities. Following retirement, he worked as a consultant to the N.C. Department of Agriculture for several years.

In 1941, Buck enlisted in the U.S. Army serving first in North Africa and then in Italy. A member of what is now called “The Greatest Generation”, Buck worked on the maintenance and support of heavy bombers like the B-17 “Flying Fortress”, the workhorse of Allied bombing squadrons. He was discharged as a Master Sergeant in 1945.

In that same year, he married his wife Barbara and they lived in Nashville, and then in Clinton for several years before moving to Raleigh in 1950. In 1953, Buck and Barbara moved to a brand new home on Wells Avenue in Raleigh, and lived there until they moved to Springmoor in 2008.

Buck was a member of the Stag Club, the Golden K Kiwanis Club, the Sir Walter Barbershop Chorus, and the YMCA on Hillsborough Street. He was a devoted member for nearly sixty years of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Buck delivered Meals on Wheels to the elderly and homebound until well into his eighties. He was equally helpful to younger people, whose careers he shepherded along.

A lifelong sportsman, Buck kept bird dogs for a number of years. He often recounted the old days of quail and dove hunting, when hunters came from far away places to hunt the Sand Hills region near Fort Bragg. He was a familiar figure on Kerr, Jordan, Wheeler, and other lakes and ponds frequented by serious fisherman. He launched his own johnboat on local waters until he was almost ninety.

Buck is survived by his wife of 64 years, Barbara Nell Strickland Buchanan, former Executive Assistant to former Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.; his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, Martha, Paul, and Jamie Forte of Boxford, MA; his brother and wife, Charles and Bess Buchanan of Melbourne, FL, 1973-1993; his sisters-in-law, Ernestine Robinson of Nashville, NC, Ruth Thomas of Middlesex, Juanita Bruffey of Fayetteville, and Juanita Buchanan of Quitman, MS; his brother-in-law and wife Carl and Sue Strickland of Raleigh; and 19 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his sister Lorene Blackwell of Shady Hill, MS, his brothers George Buchanan of Aurora, CO, and Jack Buchanan of Quitman, MS, and his brother-in-law N.E. Strickland of Middlesex, NC.

A funeral service and celebration will be held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street, in Raleigh, on Saturday, March 13, at 11:00 A.M. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, March 12, from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s Street, in Raleigh.

Memorial Contributions in Buck’s memory can be made to Pullen Memorial Baptist Church or the YMCA, 1603 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh. The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to friends for all the support given to Buck through calls, visits, and good wishes, and to Springmoor Staff for the good care given to Buck over the last year and a half.

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Post Location

522 Reedy Creek Rd.
Cary, NC 27513
Lat. 35.7974
Long. -78.7666


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