Very early on the morning of February 18, the largest and most generous heart beat for the last time. Gerald Francis Buck died at the age of 60 at Virginia Mason Hospital. After a lifetime of serious illness and pain, and despite a powerful fighting spirit, his body finally faced more than it could endure.
Ger was devoted to Triad Associates in Kirkland where he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, and where he found a great outlet for his enormous intellect, compassion for others, and incredible energy for problem solving, analysis, identifying worst possible scenario versus best possible outcome, and then steering the path to that best outcome. He was Triad's principal planner from almost the beginning of the company's 38-year history, and prepared the EIS documents on a number of projects for the City of Bellevue that launched Bellevue from an Eastside town to an Eastside city. He could almost instantly synthesize the elements of a challenge, and distill them so that anyone could understand and resolve a difficult situation. He always preferred group or team decisions, and knew how to facilitate them. He worked hard to offer his employees the best possible benefits and working environment, and in hard times sacrificed his personal interests to support his staff and act in their best interests. He was a valued and trusted advisor in the local land development and building community, and was loved and respected by every Triad employee, many of whom saw him as the heart and the rock of the company.
Ger was incorrigibly cranky and an introvert in the extreme, but was also an eloquent, articulate, and persuasive speaker when called upon, a patient listener, and an excellent judge of character. He also had a hilarious but unusual sense of humor-- very cerebral, and quite dark.
Gerald traveled as much as he could even in illness. He loved Oaxaca, Kauai, and Nice, and returned to all three more than once. He collected art from Mexico, Africa, Oceania, and from contemporary Northwest artists, many of whom have become friends. He loved plants, and carefully cultivated them inside and out, in particular an exotic plant in his office that no one else was allowed to touch; it's been thriving now for more than 30 years. He loved the theater, and subscribed to several Seattle theaters. In his youth and in better health, he was an athlete, playing football and wrestling, and he loved kayaking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
Ger loved his cabin on Samish Island, and loved being out in his boat bringing home the freshest crab for his favorite crabcakes. He loved entertaining guests for the famous Samish Island Fourth of July parade. He loved the amazing birdwatching year-round at Samish. He loved springtime in the Skagit Valley, and brought back armloads of the first daffodils of the season to sweeten the Triad offices, and the first tulips after that.
Gerald graduated from Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois, studied architecture at the University of Colorado, transferred to the University of Washington where he finished his degree in Urban Planning. He earned a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Gerald was preceded in death by his father, Warren L. Buck, and his father-in-law Maurice Sharp. He is survived by his mother, Bernice Buck, and his mother-in-law, Kathryn Sharp; his wife, Maury Sharp, son Sam Buck, daughter-in-law Jolene McCorkendale, and grandson, Warren J. Buck. He is survived by his brother, Steven Buck, his wife Jeanette Norris and Ger's favorite nephew Jonas Buck; brother-in-law Doug Sharp; brother-in-law Daniel Sharp, his wife Janet, and favorite niece Ella; brother-in-law David Sharp and partner Christopher Aponte; and oldest friend Abbott Norris. Also surviving is his devoted and beloved lab Roxy, who is bereft and very, very confused.
In lieu of flowers remembrances can be made in Gerald's name to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at www.jdrf.org, the Museum of Northwest Art at www.museumofnwart.org, or The Humane Society of Skagit
Valley at www.skagithumane.com.
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Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 24, 2013