Charles Lewis 'Chuck' Buck

Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Former Juneau resident and radio broadcast pioneer Charles Lewis "Chuck" Buck died 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, Wash., in 1973.

He 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, where he was stationed by the military. His military service included assignment to Adak in the Aleutians during World War II.

In 1953, he left the Army and with his wife built the first standard radio broadcast station in Cordova, 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 southeast Alaska and the San Juan Islands.

He made many enjoyable trips up the Inside Passage to Juneau as captain of his motor vessel, the "Peregrine." He also spent many hours chatting with friends via ham radio, KL7EE and flying single engine aircraft.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dona M. Buck, in 1970.

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

He will be interred with his wife at Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Seattle.

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