Memorial service Feb. 6 for Charles Buck

Charles Lewis Buck
March 27, 1916 — Jan. 14, 2010

Radio broadcast pioneer Charles Lewis “Chuck” Buck of Friday Harbor passed away on Jan. 14, 2010 in Oregon.

He was 93.

Born in Aberdeen, Wash., he moved to Alaska as a young boy to fish with his parents in the mid-1920s. He subsequently spent most of his life in Alaska until retiring to Friday Harbor in the early 1970s.

Chuck graduated from Cordova High School in 1935. He joined the U.S. Army in 1940 and served for 13 years with the Alaska Communication Service in Alaska and Seattle.

He married the love of his life, Dona M. Kerr, on March 1, 1940 in Kotzebue, Alaska where he was stationed by the military. His military service included assignment to Adak in the Aleutians during WWII.

In 1953, he left the Army and with his wife built the first standard radio broadcast station in Cordova, Alaska, KLAM. There, they raised three daughters.

When Alaska gained statehood in 1959, he was tapped for the position of director of communications for the State of Alaska. He served as director through several changes of the administration and retired from state service in 1973. He then moved to Friday Harbor where he built his home and spent many years boating and flying in the San Juan Islands. He made numerous summer journeys through the Inside Passage to Alaska as captain of his motor vessel, the “Peregrine.” He also spent many enjoyable hours flying various small aircraft around the Pacific Northwest as well as chatting with friends via ham radio.

Chuck is survived by his daughters, Bonnye Briggs of Camisano, Italy, Dona K. Lehr of Tigard, Ore., and Judy Hodgkins of Spirit Lake, Idaho; as well as nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dona M. Buck in 1970. Chuck will be interred with her at Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Seattle.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church on Feb. 6, 2010 at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the church.

— Family of Charles Lewis “Chuck” Buck

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