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David Penrose Buckson Sr.

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David Penrose Buckson Sr. Obituary
David Penrose Buckson, Sr.

AGE: 96 • Camden

The Honorable David Penrose Buckson, Sr. of Camden, Delaware passed away Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at the Delaware Veterans Home, Milford. He was 96.

David Buckson lived a storied life during his 96 years on earth. After graduating from Middletown High School and the University of Delaware in 1941, David spent the next 36 months as an Antiaircraft Commander in the South Pacific during World War II. At the end of the war, David, who had obtained the rank of Major at the young age of 24, attended law school at Dickinson Law School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Over the next 50 years, David was a lawyer, Family Court Judge, Attorney General, Lt. Governor, Governor, visionary capitalist, amateur driving/owner/trainer champion and best of all, a family man.

Delaware had no stronger advocate for harness racing than David Buckson. As a driver, trainer and owner, David won nearly 300 races while competing against top professionals throughout the country. In 1991 at the age of 71, he won the National Amateur Driving Championship at the in New Jersey at Meadowlands Racetrack. David was a founding member and first president of the Harness Horseman International and was honored by the Cloverleaf Association for his tireless service as President of the organization during which time his courage and leadership promoted the welfare of harness racing across the state and nation. David also served as director for the United States Trotting Association (USTA). Interesting to note is that David owned, trained and drove record holding horses like Jefferic Adios and Miss Becky Pick all while serving as an elected official, lawyer, business man, and father.

David Buckson's legal career started in 1949 and included time with many prestigious law firms including several in existence today. David was the first Delaware attorney to hold offices in all three counties in Delaware at the same time. He was City Solicitor for the Delaware municipalities of Newark, Middletown, Townsend, Smyrna, Clayton and Dover. David was appointed as a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas, received the AJS Merit citation from the American Judicative Society and was also an attorney in the United States Court of Appeals. David was later appointed to be a Judge in the Family Court of Delaware where he earned a reputation for dispatching justice in the most efficient, judicious, and evenhanded manner.

David Buckson's first bid at a state wide political office came in 1956 when he successfully ran for the office of Lieutenant Governor. Over the next few decades, David remained in the political spotlight holding the office of Governor from 1960-1961 and becoming Delaware's first two term Attorney General from 1963-1971. He was passionate about the Republican Party and continued to be active in politics throughout his lifetime.

One of David Buckson's greatest accomplishments was that of a visionary when he put pen to paper in 1967 and came up with the concept of a major venue in the middle of Delaware. Over the next 3 years, David purchased the land, navigated the permitting and political process, formed a board, and willed the project into a reality. In 1969, while serving as the first president of Dover Downs Raceway, the venue held its grand opening and Buckson's dream became a reality.

David Buckson was a life member of the Townsend Vol. Fire Company. Member of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Master Mason of Union Lodge No. 05 A.F. & A. M., Middletown Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Shield & Square Club of Delaware, First State Shrine Club, Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, The Dover Elks Lodge No. 1903, The Historical Society of Delaware, The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, The National Geographic Society, VFW, Del Vets, American Legion. In addition, David received the Kent County Medal of Meritorious Service in 2010 and the 2007 Roy Klein Hall of Fame Individual Achievement Award for his role in starting Dover Downs Sports Complex.

David Buckson is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia Maloney Buckson of Camden; children, David Buckson, Jr. and his wife Kathy of Wyoming, Eric Buckson and his wife Jennifer of Camden, Kent Buckson of Rehoboth; Marlee Buckson of Camden; Brian "Bud" Buckson and his wife Debbie of Media, PA; grandchildren, Connor, Wyatt, Krisanne, Brent, Graham, Leiah, Liam, Brian, Jr., Randy, Jimmy, and Kelly and five great grandchildren.

A Celebration of David's Life will be held at a later date and an announcement will be forthcoming as to the details.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the "Delaware Veterans Trust Fund," 802 Silver Lake Blvd. Suite 100, Dover, DE 19904.

Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at
Published in The News Journal on Jan. 20, 2017
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