Cover photo for Gary Lee Buck's Obituary
Gary Lee Buck Profile Photo
1949 Gary 2019

Gary Lee Buck

May 15, 1949 — July 18, 2019

Gary Lee Buck woke up in heaven in the early morning hours of July 18, 2019. He passed peacefully after living the last two years of his life with cancer. Those years were punctuated with the humbleness and gratefulness that endeared him to all who knew and loved him throughout his life.

 Gary was born on May 15, 1949 in Eugene, Oregon to Robert Lee and Rosa Marie (Sitton) Buck.  Within three years the young family welcomed two more boys, Robert E. (Bob Jr.) and Kenneth D.  Gary’s dad worked construction, with the family following their father’s work to several northwest communities when the boys were young. They settled in Sandpoint, always “home base,” and were joined by a sister, Joanie Marie, in 1960.  During those years, some of the most fondly remembered, Sandpoint schools were filled with Bucks—“the boys” and their many cousins. The family moved to Spokane, but Gary stayed his senior year and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1967, before joining them.

 He served in the National Guard and worked as a firefighter with the Forest Service after graduation. When Gary was very young, he was involved in an accident on his grandparents’ farm that nearly took his life. He recovered and lived the rest of his years enjoying the adventure of the northwest with abandon. He was fun and fearless. He especially loved Schweitzer where, in his younger years, he worked on ski patrol and enjoyed extreme skiing. For much of his life, he worked with his dad and brother in road construction.  He loved the outdoors and simple living, hiking, picking morels, huckleberries, golf, karaoke, and playing pinochle with his family. Gary’s hippie exterior masked a gentle heart, a strong mind, sense of justice, deep faith and conviction.  Over the years, he took many writing courses through North Idaho College. He shared his heart through his writing. Some of his poetry was recently published in the Sandpoint Reader, a highlight for him, and a gift for all of us

 While Sandpoint seemed to provide him roots, it’s impossible to define home and family for Gary. His home was never defined by walls or lines that separate communities…and his family isn’t defined solely by bloodlines. He is survived by his son, Gerod, who steadfastly cared for his dad in his final years as well as his son, Jordan, his mother Rosa, brothers Bob and Ken, his sister Joanie, his love Martha, and a large extended family.  Life can be complicated.  He’s also survived by many who called him Dad and Grandpa over the years with whom he shared his heart and love, if not his DNA.  They know who they are, and he loved them dearly as his own…even from a distance.   

A Celebration of Gary’s life will be held at The Elks Golf Course in Sandpoint on August 10, 2019, at 2 pm. We’d be honored to have you join us.

Special thanks to Bonner Community Hospice, Dory, Ambra, Wayne, and all those who loved and supported Gary. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to your favorite charity.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Lee Buck, please visit our flower store.


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