Dr. Ralph L. Buice Jr.
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Family-Placed Death Notice

BUICE, Dr. Ralph Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. passed away Tuesday, Feb 24, 2010 at his home. Dr. Ralph Buice was a 39 year veteran of Fernbank Science Center and the DeKalb County School System. While attending Georgia Tech, he often visited Fernbank Science Center to work with the astronomy team. His volunteer efforts led to a position at Fernbank where he was instrumental in working with NASA to develop tracking of satellites in the early years. As a result, the Apollo Six capsule was placed at the Science Center. Dr. Buice was involved in the recovery of the "lost" satellite Pageos. As a Chemistry instructor he inspired hundreds of students in Independent Study Classes, the Scientific Tools and Techniques Program and other Fernbank programs. In more recent years, his duties included mentoring teachers and working with students doing independent research projects. He was very instrumental in developing the partnership with NASA's Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) at the Science Center. Over the years he has supported science instruction in the school system in a variety of means including working with young teachers to judging in science fairs. Dr. Buice enjoyed traveling throughout the world. He often took guests with him on his adventures and encouraged others to live their own adventures. He loved food, wine, and life. Predeceased by his mother Sara Edwards Buice, father Ralph Lendon Buice, sister Elizabeth Ann Buice. Survivors include his brother, Rick Buice, sister-in-law, Fran Buice and nieces Kristi and Elizabeth Buice, Fredrick and Smithfield, several cousins in Chattanooga, close friends, and his Fernbank Science Centerfamily. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Visitation is February 27, 2010, from the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and services at 1:00p.m. at Winkenhofer Pine Ridge Funeral Home in Kennesaw, GA.

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 26, 2010.
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Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
March 31, 2010
I owe much to my dear friend and first real mentor, Dr. Ralph Buice. I studied Computer Science under him as an Independent Study student from 1975-1980. He instinctively knew just how to shape my youthful enthusiasm for all things scientific into a mature career focus. Ralph never gave me an answer that he felt I could find for myself. He also introduced me to Julius D. W. Staal as another mentor and friend.

Even though he taught me so much, two incidents spring to mind as I think of him. The first one is funny: immediately after the release of the first "Star Wars" film, he began masquerading as "Darth Vader" on the FORUM newsgroup program hosted on Ga. Tech's mainframe. Don Barry and I were among the first to discover messages from "Vader." He kept up the charade for several years and never did admit to the prank, even though the evidence was overwhelming! His messages revealed a droll sense of humor and a willingness to engage his young students in an intellectually mischievous manner -- not just as educator to student.

The other thing that comes to mind was more personal. When Don Barry and I graduated High School in the Spring of 1980, Ralph took us both to dinner to celebrate. Not just any dinner, but a full-course meal at his favorite gourmet restaurant, The Diplomat. Since Don and I were newly of drinking age (at the time), Ralph had previously and surreptitiously received permission from our parents to have wine served with the dinner: a Château Lafite Rothschild! (I still have the bottle to this day.) That dinner must have cost him a fortune. A remarkable act of kindness from a remarkable man.

Ralph, you will be deeply missed. What an impact you made upon my life and upon so many others.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
John Baldwin
March 2, 2010
My condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Buice. I know I speak for all who have volunteered and worked at Fernbank when I say his contributions to science education were stellar and he will be greatly missed.
Joe Sheppard
March 1, 2010
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Dr. Ralph Buice, Jr. Even though I did not know him personally, I knew how much he meant to those that did know him. He was spoken very highly of. Thoughts and prayers with you all.
Anna Jolin
March 1, 2010
It is difficult to find the words to express how much I and the Fernbank Science Center family will miss Dr. Ralph Buice. He was wonderful to work with - always sharing his knowledge and expertise. Ralph's contributions to Fernbank Science Center, the staff and many students who were priviledged to know and learn from him are huge and lasting. As an artist, I'm so grateful to have known Ralph's love for art. Our conversations about the works he collected and why he loved this endeveour was a joy!
Sheila Ward
February 28, 2010
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Ralph Buice. Ralph and I were co-workers at Fernbank Science Center. I will remember his dedication and untiring commitment to the center as well as his support to staff members. He was especially supportive to me as the Electron Microscopist at the center. We also shared a love for travel, especially international travel. Dr Buice's contributions to the development of Fernbank Science Center and Fernbank Museum will be missed.
Dr. Patricianne Hurd
February 28, 2010
It is with a heavy heart to think of you not walking across the parking lot of FSC, or your dear self at your desk. Thanks for the tips about New Orleans, and Paris but, mostly your presence - kind, giving, a gift to mankind. I love you and will see you again.
February 27, 2010
I am so deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Buice's passing. He was not only a wonderful instructor but a fantastic eclair maker! I have many wonderful memories of Dr. Buice and the support that he showed my mother and our family. We will miss him.
Vicki Reich & Family
February 26, 2010
I met Ralph Buice nearly 30 years ago - I was one of the countless students he taught and mentored over his years with Fernbank. He provided opportunities for learning that simply were not possible in traditional high schools at the time. I credit that experience with helping to turn around my performance as a student, and shape my future academic and professional career. I am reminded of "Dr. B" almost every day as I drive to work - past the Griffith House at the corner of Ponce and Clifton. That drive was a little more difficult today.

He will be missed.
Scott Holt
February 26, 2010
We have lost a good friend, compassionate mentor, inspiring teacher, and great soul.
Mark Lancaster
February 26, 2010
Ralph was always fun to work with. We enjoyed giving each other a hard time. His desk was always made my desk look clean.
David Dundee
February 26, 2010
Dr. Buice (Ralph) was a mentor and advisor to me in my high school days with his satellite tracking program that I used as the basis for a science fair project (which went on to place first in physical sciences at the Georgia State Science Fair almost 37 years ago).
As a member (I should say "Alumnus")of the Fernbank Science Center observatory Student Assistant squad-those who were in that group will know what I'm talking about - I can recall Dr.Buice being the mellow astronomer on public observing nights, usually replying with quiet "my goodness" when told of something unusual.

Dr. Buice, you will be missed by those of us privileged to know you professionally and personally. You will be part of many fond memories.
Paul Dill
February 26, 2010
With heartfelt sympathy to all who mourn Ralph. He leaves his own monument in the thousands of scholars he inspired.
Mary Jane and Lincoln Stone
Mary Jane Stone
February 26, 2010
Ralph was important to me, beginning in high school, when he mentored me and other "budding" science types. Ralph has always been/was (what tense do I use now?) pleasant and helpful. Thank you Ralph for helping me study and learn.
Mitzi Adams
February 26, 2010
Ralph was a good friend, and all of us who knew him will miss him greatly. During a somewhat difficult time in my life, in the early-to-mid 80's, he helped me greatly by just being someone that I could talk to and spend time with. He literally and figuratively provided me shelter. At times we might not be in contact for a while, but then we'd get a chance to visit with one another and it would be like we'd never been apart. My darling wife Kara and I met each other more than 25 years ago through one of Ralph's technology projects that made resources on the Georgia Tech computer systems available to other students interested in science and technology. My only regret is that I could never say "Thank You" eloquently enough to truly express my appreciation to this fine gentleman and friend. Goodbye Ralph. We already miss you, but you'll never be forgotten by thousands of people whose lives have been touched by your teaching, mentoring, and friendship.
Will Rogers
February 26, 2010
Please accept sincere condolences and the hope that the peace of God will give you rest from sorrow.

Philippians 4:6,7
R McHugh
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