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William T. Buckley Sr.

Groton - William T. Buckley Sr., 90, formerly of Norwich, died on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.

Born on May 4, 1921 in Norwich, he was the son of the late William A. and Annie C. (Caulkins) Buckley.

William grew up in Norwich and was a graduate of the Norwich Free Academy class of 1940. After high school he worked for a short time at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford. On April 12, 1941, he was married to his loving wife of 70 years, Esther Robinson. Together they settled in Baltic and began their family. In July of 1944, with a wife and young child at home, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he proudly served as part of the original crew aboard the USS Antietam Aircraft Carrier in the Pacific Theater and was involved in the invasion of Okinawa. For his honorable and courageous service, he was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Medal, the American Theater Medal and the Victory Medal.

After the war, Bill returned to Norwich and worked delivering milk for Beebe's Dairy and then worked at the American Thermos Company before beginning a thirty-five year career with John Hancock Life Insurance Company as a life insurance agent. He also was the owner and broker of William Buckley Realty in Norwich, a company he ran with his wife, for many years until finally retiring in 1983.

Throughout his life he was an avid sportsman who enjoyed golfing and loved sailing. For many years he was a volunteer at the Salvation Army in Norwich and was a volunteer firefighter in Preston. He was a member of the Lee Memorial Methodist Church and served on the board of trustees.

Bill was a devoted husband and father; he will forever be remembered as a kind and gentle person with a great sense of humor and a tremendous amount of love for his family, especially his grandchildren whom he adored. He will live on in all of our hearts.

In addition to his wife Esther, he is survived by his children, Cathie Magner and husband, Tom, Lynn Barrett and husband, Lake, William T. Buckley Jr. and wife, Carol, Edward Buckley and wife, Maureen, Jane Griffith and husband, Jack, and Ellen Maloney and husband, Tom; twelve grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren; his siblings, Richard Buckley and wife, Frances, Fred Buckley and wife, Evelyn, Ruth Sanders and husband, George, and Robert Buckley and wife, Betty; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service, with presentation of military honors, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, at Maplewood Cemetery in Norwich. from 4 to 5 p.m Friday, family and friends are invited to visit in the "Front Room" at Groton Regency Healthcare, 1145 Poquonnock Road, Groton. A memorial service being conducted by Rev. Stanley White will take place at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Vitas Hospice Services, 628 Hebron Ave. # 300, Glastonbury, CT 06033 or The National Parkinson Foundation, 10 Union Sq. E # 5L, New York, NY 10003-3314.

The Woyasz & Son Funeral Home, 141 Central Ave., is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Day on November 3, 2011.
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