1922 ~ 2012|
E. LaMar Buckner, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather graduated from this mortal life and returned to his Heavenly Father on Wednesday evening, December 26th, 2012.
Born on April 27, 1922 in Provo, Utah to Elmer Ray and Altis LaVern Maxfield Buckner he grew up through the Great Depression. He is a 1940 graduate of Ogden High School and later graduated from Weber Junior College where he became an accomplished debater and public speaker, a talent used often in his life. In 1943, he interrupted his education at BYU to join the U.S. Air Force. He served in the 8th Air Force European Theater as a B17 Pilot having completed 27 missions, including a forced landing behind enemy lines - an experience that became the topic of many great talks.
Upon returning from the war, he married his sweetheart, Melba Hale, on October 3, 1945 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple before returning to complete his degree at BYU. They have been married 67 years. A more devoted husband could not be found as he served her needs; not only through their entire marriage, but particularly during the past many years of Melba's struggle with Alzheimer's.
Forgoing an offer to pursue graduate work, LaMar joined his father and eventually his brother in law, L. Stewart Radmall, in creating Buckner Insurance Counselors. While the business was successful, he really viewed it only as a means to provide for his family while he devoted his energy in serving his community and church. His community leadership was extensive. He and Melba took great pride as a young couple in being elected as the national president of the Jaycee Organization- an opportunity that allowed him to travel the world to meet with presidents of nations and even serve as a judge of the 1954 Miss America Pageant. Additional community service included leadership roles with the BYU and Weber State alumni organizations, Ogden Chamber of Commerce, The Kiwanis Club, Sons of Utah Pioneers and the United Way where he received the prestigious Alexis de Tocqueville award from the national organization.
Always interested in public affairs, LaMar served for two years in the Utah House of Representatives and eight years as a Utah State Senator in addition to a term on the Utah State Board of Regents.
LaMar was a 78-year member of the Boy Scouts of America and was very proud to be a part of that organization. Great stories of his passing off a cooking merit badge as a young boy will be a part of Buckner scouting lore for years. In addition to his becoming an Eagle Scout, he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope and the Distinguished Eagle Scout award. He strived to "give back" while serving in many positions including Council and Area Presidents within that organization.
Church service was a hallmark of the Buckner home. His devotion included callings as Bishop, Stake Presidency member, Stake President, Mission President, Young Men's General Board member and Regional Representative. His time serving with his sweet wife as President and Matron of the Ogden LDS Temple is considered a pinnacle of his life.
LaMar's love for his family was readily evident. Despite having five very active children, 25 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren, he seemed to stay on top of every activity and birthday. It seemed a day would not pass when he wasn't making a phone call to serenade a child or grandchild with a happy birthday song or ask them about an activity. Though he would be the first to tell you that singing was not his strong suit, the early morning phone calls became a welcome tradition. LaMar's sense of optimism was contagious. When asked how he was doing, "Marvelous" or "Great" would be the usual response.
LaMar is survived by his wife Melba of 67 years and his five children: Lynda (Robert J.) Stringham of Kaysville, Brent (Debra M.) Buckner of
South Weber, Terry (Lynne N.) Buckner of Sandy, Kathy (Gary L.) Saunders of Harrisville, and David (Jennifer J.) Buckner of New York; 25 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents and only sister, Roma Lou Radmall.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at the Country Hills Ward LDS Chapel, 1401 Country Hills Drive in Ogden. Friends may visit family on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist's Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd., and Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment, Lindquist's Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the E. LaMar and Melba Hale Buckner Scholarship Fund at Weber State University.
Send condolences to the family at: www.lindquistmortuary.com
Published in Deseret News from Dec. 30, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013