BUCHANAN, Jr., Les (Buck)|
Les Buchanan, Jr., known to his friends as "Buck" and to his extended family as "Junior," died Saturday, November 9, 2013, of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
He was born December 6, 1950 in Laredo to Bama Alley Buchanan and Leslie Hensley Buchanan, Sr. The family moved several times during his childhood, eventually landing in Los Fresnos, Texas where he graduated from high school in 1969. There he was voted best athlete and was on the varsity football, basketball and track teams, eventually named All-State in football. He attended the University of Texas on a football scholarship and was on the freshman team until he damaged his knees. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1976 and received a Master's in Community and Regional planning from the UT College of Architecture in 1980.
As an undergraduate he was the director of Community Switchboard, a non-profit assisting the street people of Austin. There he made lifelong friends, some of whom continued to write to him in his final days.
After graduation he worked as a construction and/or facilities manager for a number of companies including Tom Turner Enterprises (TETCO), Tarantino Properties, Continuum, and the State of Texas. He was the project manager for the construction of Commodore Plaza and the Southfield Building, among others. He later worked as a facilities manager for Chase and ended his career as a facilities manager for the State of Texas. He retired in October of 2012 when the ALS made it impossible for him to continue working.
Les and Rollyn Roberts married in 1973 and had two children, Lindsey, in 1982 and Justin, in 1984. The couple divorced in 1985. He remained in close contact with her and her extended family until his death.
He loved fishing and hunting and had a group of friends who made frequent trips. He was especially fond of fishing off Aransas Pass and hunting near Fredericksburg.
He leaves a daughter, Lindsey Buchanan Kirsch, of Willis, Texas, a son, Justin Buchanan, of Eagle, Colorado, three grandchildren, Jessica Kirsch, Elizabeth Kirsch, Jameson Buchanan, and a sister, Patricia Buchanan of Swampscott, Massachusetts. Also a son-in-law, Joseph Kirsch and a daughter-in-law, Erica Buslett Buchanan and his ex-wife, Rollyn Carlson.
Les specified that he did not want funeral service--he said to "have a party." The family has arranged a celebration of his life at the Hula Hut in Austin for Saturday from 2:00-4:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, those who would like to remember him may make a contribution to the ALS Association (alsa.org).
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2013