David Penrose Buckson Sr.
Share David's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
The Honorable David Penrose Buckson Sr., of Camden, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 17, 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 anti-aircraft 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, Pa. 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 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. 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, businessman 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 statewide 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 three 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 condolence may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Dover Post from Jan. 26 to Feb. 4, 2017.
Celebration of Life
05:30 PM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
15 entries
November 5, 2017
Heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends during this difficult time. I hope that the promise at 1Thessalonians 4:14 will bring you comfort. Knowing that there is a future for the ones we have lost in death can be reassuring.
May 11, 2017
With deep sympathy for your loss, may the words at Hosea 13:14 bring you comfort and strength knowing that our love have a hope.
March 24, 2017
Only the good die young
February 24, 2017
Offering my condolences to those dear to David. "May mercy and peace and love be increased to you."-Jude 2
February 18, 2017
My sympathy goes out to the family during your time of grief. May God's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this difficult time. Psalms 119:50,76

February 17, 2017
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
M. Daniels
February 16, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss.. Throwing our burdens on God and looking into the beautiful hope His Word provides us can help to be a comfort during difficult times. I hope the loving promise made in John 6:40 can be a source of comfort. My condolences to your family..
February 10, 2017
I'm sorry for your loss. God Almighty, Yahweh, will give you strength to endure until his promises are fulfilled. (Isaiah 35:5, 6).
February 10, 2017
January 30, 2017
To the Buckson Family...my sincere sympathy for the loss of Governor Buckson...such a good and kind man who is now spreading his smile to all the Angels in heaven...rest in peace Sir
January 27, 2017
Patricia, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Know that your pain does not go unnoticed, God is aware and he cares about you. As you pray remember Psalm 10:17 tells us that when we pray, God listens.
Uly & Lula
January 26, 2017
To the family of David ape rose Bucksson Sr., I am so sorry for your loss. I'm sure you will miss him dearly. Please find comfort in knowing one day we will see our loved ones again. John 6:40. Matthew 5:5.
January 25, 2017
I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I have fond memories of him and his family. He was a good man who was always full of life. Sending prayers to the family. Terry Willis DeGroat
Terry DeGroat
January 20, 2017
True Delawarean......and his father Leon was a legend too

Chuck Smith..St. George's DE
January 20, 2017
Mr. Buckson was such a woundeful person inside and out. He will be greatly missed.
Donna Bonneville
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences