David W. Buck
DOVER- David W. Buck, 76, died suddenly on Saturday, October 24, at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. The cause was heart-related.
Mr. Buck, son of Wesley and Margaret (Horne) Buck, was born at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1944. He grew up in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, with his secondary years spent at Ridgewood High School. In 1966 he received a BS degree in math and economics at Colgate University. As an honor student, a semester of this time period was spent at the London School of Economics. Several summers at Pate’s Charcoal Pit in Chatham, MA, provided income for this and for his MBA at the University of Michigan. It was on Cape Cod that Mr. Buck met his future wife, Patti Hoag.
Dave and Patti married in Greenwich, NY, in 1968 and from there headed to New York City for his first job in the merger acquisition department at W.R.Grace. He found, after a year, that while Wall Street was not for him, teaching might be. He soon applied for a high school opening in Chester and was accepted with the proviso that he attend the intensive teacher preparation program at Castleton State and teach summer school at Rutland High.
As Chester became part of a centralized district, and along with that came the loss of the close learning environment he had come to enjoy, Mr. Buck applied for and accepted an offer to teach at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH. While there his son Joshua was born at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in 1971. To supplement their teaching income the Bucks operated, for several summers, the North Country Drive-In in Ossipee, NH.
In 1972, Mr. Buck applied for a high school math position at Watkinson School in Hartford, CT. Five years later, at the school director’s suggestion, Mr. Buck and his wife applied to teach at international schools abroad and in 1977 the family moved to Thessaloniki, Greece, for positions at Pinewood School and Anatolia College. Mr. Buck became the boys’ dorm director and taught math.
The remainder of his 30 years abroad took the family to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Vienna, Austria, where he was a high school principal. From there he served as director of international schools in Nicosia, Cyprus; Willemstad, Curacao; and Prague, Czech Republic. Noted among these transitions was the opening, from scratch, of ISC in Cyprus; the completion of the last three high school years at ISC-Curacao, and the building, in Prague, of the first purpose-built facility in what was then the “Eastern Bloc.” Mr. Buck considered environmental learning an integral part of all his positions. He initiated Curacao’s first school-sponsored beach cleanup, which continues to this day. It was the environmental aspect of The American Farm School’s mission statement that persuaded him, in 1999, to return to Thessaloniki for the next five years as its president.
The Bucks retired to the US in 2004, but within a year he was offered a one-year interim position as head of Windhoek International School, Namibia. This served as a cap to a wonderful experience of overseas living and working.
Once back in East Dover, Mr. Buck, an avid sports fan, and for years a coach, was finally ready to tackle his nemesis, golf. At Haystack he greatly relished the camaraderie, often including friendly, political banter. Mr. Buck was a member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club, a past board member of the Windham County Humane Society, former community MOOver driver, and was involved with several other volunteer projects. He would have greatly enjoyed the outpouring of community appreciation as well as the many messages from former students, teachers, and administrators from around the world who remember him as an intelligent and compassionate human who took his jobs seriously, but not himself. His sense of humor is remembered by all who knew him.
Mr. Buck is survived by his wife of 52 years, Patti, his son Joshua (Marissa), and grandchildren Jesse and Elias; his sisters Martha Binns (Jack), Janet Cale (Bill), and several nieces and nephews. With COVID in mind, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Mr. Buck’s name may be made to the Windham County Humane Society.
The Buck family is ever grateful to the Dover police, the East Dover Fire Department, Deerfield Valley Rescue, and the emergency team at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.