John ‘Jack’ Dennis Buckley

PLATTSBURGH — John “Jack” Dennis Buckley, 88, of Newport News, Virginia passed away peacefully on the morning of Oct. 10, 2017, at Sunnington Assisted Living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

John was born Oct. 28, 1928 in Saranac Lake, the son of Timothy Joseph Buckley and Margaret (Foley) Buckley.

John was a loving father, husband, uncle and friend to all that knew him and loved by many. He was a kind and giving man his entire life and loved family deeply.

As a child he lost his father at a young age and learned how important family was during difficult times. He, his only sister Margaret (Buckley) Pearl and their mother and her two sisters bonded together and made a wonderful life together. Some family’s back then wouldn’t have been able to make it but the women bonded together and made sure that John and his sister were able to attend college so they would be successful in their life journeys.

John was a high achiever beginning when he earned his Eagle Scout in 1946 and never slowed down.

John was widowed when his wife Harriett (Brodie) Buckley passed away Aug. 31, 2014. He is survived by his daughters Kathleen Rene Buckley and Jennifer Maureen Elizabeth Cannon; son John Michael Buckley; his five grandchildren: Maureen Elizabeth Buckley, Kristina Ellen Buckley, Johns Patrick Buckley and John Declan Cannon; and his sister’s eight nieces and nephews: Mary Theresa, Tim, Dan, John, Kathleen, Anne, Margaret and Mike Pearl.

He attended Paul Smith’s College (1948), St. Lawrence University (1950), Fordham University (1951), Clemson University B.S (1959) and M.S. (1961) in Ceramic Engineering and Iowa State University received his Ph.D. in Ceramic Engineering and Minor in Metallurgy (1968).

John joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Hampton, Virginia in 1959 and had a long-distinguished 35-year career there. John always told his children he loved his job and was lucky to have found his passion in life. He has received numerous awards for materials research concerned with U.S. Aerospace Programs for the Space Shuttle Program, Viking Project, and Skylab, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Apollo Achievement Award, James I. Muller Award and many Special Achievement Awards in different fields. He’s authored and edited over 100 papers, books and conference publications in the United States and in Europe. Everyone that had the privilege to work with him always enjoyed his passion and dedication to any project he was working on.

He loved giving back and was a an adjunct professor for 27 years at many universities including: George Washington University, Old Dominion University, Clemson University, Christopher Newport University, NASA Apprentice School and Thomas Nelson Community College. He used to tell his children that some of the students would ask him questions to try and stump him since they thought he knew everything and he would say, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’ll research it and get back to you with an answer in the next class.” He was never too proud to say he didn’t know something and would always tell people, “You can learn something new every day and it can be from anyone that comes across your path, just because I’ve got my Ph.D. doesn’t mean I know everything!”

John belonged to many organizations both professionally and personally. He was a member and past chairman of NICE and ACerS, ASM, SME and ITAR. He served on the Virginia State Board of Health and the Newport News Planning Commission for many years. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus, Hibernian Society and Torch Club and sang in his local Church Choir and for family weddings.

John served in the USAF as a Navigator-Bombardier in the Korean War 1952 to 1956, and retired from the Reserves as a Lt/Col in 1988. Upon retiring he received The Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding service and leadership with major contributions to the effectiveness and success of Air Force Thermal Protection Systems and Hot Structures Programs.

Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St. in Plattsburgh. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at St. John’s Church. Interment with military honors will be in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Saranac Lake. Memorial donations may be offered to North Country Honor Flight.

Arrangements are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St. Plattsburgh, N.Y. 12901, 518-561-3980.

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