Cleave Buchanan Jr.(1945 - 2013)

Buchanan, Jr., Cleave Surrounded by his loving family, Cleave Buchanan, Jr., age 67, peacefully passed away on February 19, 2013 at his home in Dallas, Texas, less than three months after he was diagnosed with aggressive thyroid cancer. Cleave was born on May 2, 1945 in Victoria, Texas to Slats and Raycohy Buchanan-parents who absolutely adored him and believed he could do anything and everything he wanted. Grounded in their love and encouragement, Cleave was an excellent scholar and athlete, serving as Captain of the Mission Eagles Football Team, President of the National Honor Society, and voted Most Likely To Succeed by the Mission High School class of 1963. Not afraid of hard work, he worked his way through the University of Texas at Austin as a rough neck and late-night janitor. While at UT, he made many life-long friends who were still with him at the end of his life. He also met his wife of 45 years, Marian Pendleton, a fellow Valley resident, who according to family lore, went to his off-campus apartment with a case of Coors, a guitar, and a plan to get a ride home for Christmas break. Getting much more than she bargained for, they married on August 19, 1967. After their college graduation, Cleave entered UT law school. He was drafted in 1969 and he and Marian made the 4,000 mile drive from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska where he was stationed. They greatly enjoyed their time in Alaska and returned to Texas after his service with their daughter Amy. Their daughter Christina was born three years later in Dallas, a birth Cleave almost missed while attending a Cowboys playoff game. After graduating from law school, Cleave began his practice at Jenkens & Gilchrist in Dallas. An accomplished attorney, he practiced law at J & G for over 20 years before retiring to embark on new challenges as a businessman and custom homebuilder. He never tired of learning new skills and had the patience to practice them until they were perfected. Cleave delighted in his sons-in-law Marty and Richard. He was glad to finally have someone around to debate politics, talk football, and share his love of after-dinner liqueurs. Cleave found a joy with his 6 grandchildren that he was unable to appreciate with his own daughters due to the demands of building his career. He spent hours playing in the dirt with his grandkids, serving as the patient while they poked and prodded him with their plastic medical kit, and catching them in the water while they jumped from the pool edge or boat. In the last few weeks of his life, he taught them to play his beloved game of backgammon and taught his under-age granddaughters how to drive his truck. Rebecca, Lizzy, Trey, Ben, Will and Cat were blessed beyond measure to have him as their Pops (or Pop-Pop). We promise to speak of him often and remind them of his unending love and confidence in them, and even though their time with him was too brief, his mark on them is forever. Cleave loved political talk shows, Longhorn football, sitting on the beach in Florida, researching our family's genealogy, playing on-line poker, home-made margaritas, and Marian's cooking. He was the cruise director of the family, always organizing games and activities. He was unbelievably good-natured and often the center of our jokes, particularly over his inability to spell and his constant desire to push food and drinks on everyone in his presence. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives but know he is at peace. We could not have a better cheerleader. Cleave is survived by his wife, Marian, daughters and sons-in-law: Amy and Marty Brimmage, Christina and Richard Wright, and grandchildren: Rebecca Brimmage, Elizabeth Brimmage, Trey Brimmage, Catherine Brimmage, Benjamin Wright and William Wright. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Angel and Bill Underwood, nephews: Michael and Chris Bartels and niece, Ashley and her husband Aaron McCarty. Our family thanks the VNA and his wonderful hospice team. They eased his mind and body and comforted his family. If desired, memorial donations may be made to CureSearch for Children's Cancer in honor of his grandson Benjamin Cleave Wright ( A Celebration of Cleave's life will be held Friday, March 1, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Cox Chapel at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX.


Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 25, 2013