Donald Robert Buckner
1934 - 2021
Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb
2011 South Fourth Street
Dekalb, IL
Donald Robert Buckner
On Saturday, October 9, 2021, Donald Robert Buckner, loving husband, and father of four children, passed away at the age of 87.
Don was born on April 16, 1934, in Rensselaer, NY, as the only child of Bob and Eileen (Foran) Buckner. He married the love of his life, Kathleen Ellen Gallagher on November 30, 1957. Don graduated from Cornell University in 1955 and earned master's degrees from R.P.I. and the University of Missouri in 1956 and 1960, respectively. Don started his career in university administration at Georgetown University in 1960 as Dean of Men and earned a Doctor of Education degree from The American University in 1967. He accepted the position of Director of Housing at NIU in 1967 and served in several positions before retiring from NIU in 1998 as Associate VP/Provost.
Don devoted his compassion, energy, and countless hours to his charitable endeavors including those for St. Vincent DePaul and St. John Newman Catholic Church. He served on the Board of The Salvation Army and cared for Hospice patients continuously for many years.
Don will be remembered as a very lovable and eccentric "character" who was totally devoted to his wife, Kathy, and the rest of his family. He traveled the world, was able to easily strike up conversations with strangers, and had an infectious sense of humor. He loved photography, golf, and the Chicago Cubs. He was an avid fitness enthusiast who completed the NY Marathon in his 50s.
Don was preceded in death by his father, Bob, his mother, Eileen, and two grandchildren, Kelly Morsch and Joshua Levine. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; his children Teresa (Jim Kaus), David (Julie), Mark (Cindy), and Brian (Mary Lynn); 13 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren.
A graveside service, for family only, will be held on Thursday, October 14, followed by a Celebration of Life to be held on Saturday October 16th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Faranda's Banquet Center at 302 Grove Street in DeKalb.
The family requests donations to St. Vincent DePaul in DeKalb in lieu of flowers.
For information, visit or call 815-756-1022.
Published by The MidWeek News from Oct. 11 to Oct. 20, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Graveside service
Celebration of Life
1:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Faranda’s Banquet Center
302 Grove Street, DeKalb, IL
Funeral services provided by:
Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb
Sponsored by Anderson Funeral Home - DeKalb.
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15 Entries
Our heartfelt prayers go out to Kathy and the family on the loss of Don. We love Don and Kathy. Don was such a great Director of Housing at NIU and Patti loved working with him. Don was instrumental in helping Patti land her Counseling job at San Diego State University and for that our family is forever grateful. Don was a smart, quick witted, funny lover of life and his positive energy was infectious. We will miss him dearly. Love to Kathy and family. Patti and Rick and family.
Patti Elenz-Martin & Rick Martin
October 17, 2021
My memories of working in the residence halls under Don truly shaped who I am. It was 1969-1971 and campus unrest was at fever pitch. Don was calm, measured in the response to student unrest, and kept the staff on an even keel. His leadership kept, what could have been a disaster, a manageable situation. I have enjoyed being a Facebook friend which let me keep up with his wonderful family. Kathy, I am so sorry for your loss and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Carol Allen
October 16, 2021
I just heard this sad news. I am so very sorry. Such a kind man Don Buckner was, always kind, caring, generous, and the most delightful sense of humor. I first became acquainted with Don as a college student, almost 50 years ago! I worked in residential life and was also in a group he facilitated at the Newman Center. Kathy and Don embraced this young student with open arms, and their love and support of me meant more than words can express. I was touched by the love shared between these two beautiful people and the love, pride, and closeness of the ever growing Buckner Family. Christmas letters from Don, were always a delight to receive. Such a kind man to always take interest in what was going on in my life. I can´t even begin to imagine all of the lives he touched. I will always remain grateful that he was in mine. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Kathy, your children, the grandchildren, and great grandchildren who are suffering with this great loss.
Judy Cochrane
October 15, 2021
With Deepest Sympathy At This Time Of Sadness. May Your Many Memories Bring You Comfort & Peace In The Days Ahead
Kenneth A. Kamm
October 15, 2021
The Noe Family
October 15, 2021
Dear Brian and Mary Lynn, I am so sorry for your family´s loss. Thinking of you all. Sincerely, Marla Saint Arbor
Marla Saint Arbor
October 14, 2021
Dear Brian and Family, I was saddened to read of your dad´s passing. Please know I am thinking of you in my heart. What a wonderful life he lived. A lifetime of memories to hold in your hearts.
Sharon Scott
October 13, 2021
I know David from the U of I. I wanted to give you my condolences. Remember and tell the stories to keep Donald´s memory alive and help to ease your pain. God bless, Steven.
Steven Petersen
October 13, 2021
My deepest condolences to Brian, Mary Lynn, Sam and Dominic, and the entire Buckner family. Mr. B was always a friendly face and the Buckner home was always a welcoming place for me. Don was curious about my NIU experiences and called me by my camp nickname, which made us both laugh. Brian, I´m so glad you were there so consistently and lovingly for your dad. Having just been through similar circumstances, i can say: it is wonderful to have both distant and recent memories to keep in your heart. Love to you all and deepest sympathy to your mom.
Matt Kirchman
October 12, 2021
Have many wonderful memories of cousin Donny growing up and visiting him at Georgetown. A beautiful happy soul, loved dearly by our family. My condolences to the entire Buckner family.
Michele Meyers
October 12, 2021
HBR 429 School Community
October 12, 2021
I knew Don and Kathy over the years through our children’s sports and also at NIU. I’m just sorry we couldn’t reconnect when you and Kathy moved to Oak Crest. I did meet up with Kathy, Brian, and Mary Lynn when you first arrived. Also the day you passed, I met with Brian and Mark as they were leaving our building. My sincere sympathy to the whole family on their loss of this dear man.
Jane Randolph
October 12, 2021
A leader,supportive, caring and loving, Don was someone who supported me throughout my life; and all who worked with him. He had an incredible sense of humor. He knew what to say in all circumstances. I will miss him and sending prayers and hugs for Kathy and his family.
Juliette Moore
October 11, 2021
Thinking of all of you as you mourn. Don was a truly wonderful person. He will be missed.
Lynn Slater
October 11, 2021
My deepest condolences to the the Buckner family! So very sorry for your loss!!!
Suzie Anderson
October 11, 2021
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