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Richard A. Buckner

Company I-2
2 Nov 1939 - 22 Jul 2021
Place of Death: Gainesville, VA.
Interment: West Point Cemetery on a date to be determined

It is with great regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Dick Buckner, on 22 July 2021 in Gainesville, VA.

Dick is survived by his wife, Trish; their children, Elizabeth Buckner-Yordy and her husband Chris; Rich, Jr.; and Ann Marie Stulik and her husband Ken; their grandchildren, Stephen Buckner, Allison Williams and her husband Tyler, Amanda McVicker and her husband Will, Victoria Nunn and her husband Josh, Morgan Lassiter and her husband Bryan, Lauren Gizinski and her husband Adam, Alexander Trahan, Tyler Trahan, and Nicole Buckner; their step grandchildren Clare and Eli Yordy; and their great grandchildren, Benjamin, Ansel, Liam, Elise, Aiden, Charlotte and one on the way.

Friends and family will celebrate Dick's memory at their cherished home in Gainesville on August 1 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Dick Buckner's funeral will be at 1:30 PM, Wednesday, 27 October 2021, at the West Point Cemetery.  Those attending should meet NLT 1 PM at the Visitors Control Center located in the West Point Visitors Center in Highland Falls.

A reception will follow in Herbert Hall.  Please respond by reply message if you will be attending.

Condolences may be sent to Trish at 13606 Heritage Valley Way, Gainesville, VA  20155-1356.

In lieu of flowers, please celebrate your health and happiness by giving your kids and grandkids a hug.

Well done, Dick. Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\I-2 Dick Buckner.pdf

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend Dick's Aug 1 celebration.  From afar, I'm celebrating Dick's life by some pleasant memories reflected below.

I, like virtually all our classmates and other classes, knew Dick well for his sturdy gridiron accomplishments.  And we knew that Dick didn't know us.  He was one of our class stalwarts, one of our pretty famous gladiators, but who could never get to know most of his cheering fans.  Dick and our other great stalwarts were battling the PE majors and university weight rooms of enormous football universities while not one on the opposing teams was so enjoying the great challenges of diff equations, thermo, solids, fluids and the great mysteries of EE/Black Magic.  We all appreciated and respected the imbalanced nature of our tough football games with the almost bully-boy likes of Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Pitt, Nebraska, on and on.  Our football men, like Dick, never flinched, were examples of physical bravery, of up close and personal courage, endurance and toughness right before our eyes.  We are blessed to know them.

Our lunches gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with Dick the few times I came.  We talked the same accent, though he improved his better than I did.  We never saw each other in the Army.  But now decades later at Ft Myer, Dick was immediately a friend in our shared brotherhood, always warm, kind, interested in your thoughts and experience.  I am blessed that our Class of '61 lunches let me finally really meet Dick, a method a few hundred or more of our classmates would love to have enjoyed.

Marty Walsh


Richard Alan Buckner, “Buck” of Gainesville, Virginia passed away on July 22, 2021 at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia (Trish), his daughter Elizabeth Buckner-Yordy (Chris), son, Rich Jr., and daughter Ann Marie Stulik (Ken), grandchildren Stephen, Allison, Amanda, Tori, Morgan, Lauren, Alexander, Tyler, Nicole, Clare and Eli and 6 great grandchildren and another on the way.  He is also survived by his younger brother LTC (ret) Roy Charles Buckner, of St. Augustine, Florida.

Buck was born on 2 November 1939 to Lawrence and Elizabeth Buckner of the Bronx in New York City.  Buck’s father passed away at a young age and he and his brothers, Bob and Roy, were raised by their mother.  All three brothers graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. While at West Point, Buck played intercollegiate football and lacrosse.  After the 1961 lacrosse season, he was selected as a first team All-American defenseman.

Upon graduating in 1961, Buck married Trish, his high school sweetheart, and commenced thirty years of service in the United States Army. His service included 2 tours in Vietnam and ended with Buck being the military attaché in Budapest, Hungary and then Prague, Czechoslovakia before the fall of the Iron Curtain.  Buck retired as a full Colonel and worked for the Aerospace Corporation in Virginia until his retirement in 2005.  Buck was a natural leader and was known as a man of principle and a true American patriot.  He was a role model and trusted friend who was widely respected.

In his retirement years, Buck and Trish continued their world travels and tried to keep up with their growing family.  Up until a couple years ago Buck played handball at the Pentagon twice a week.  Eventually the effects of intercollegiate sports, jumping out of airplanes and a very physically active life took its toll on his body and he had to very reluctantly “retire” from his handball career.

Finally, his proudest legacy, his biggest pride and joy, "PopPop" left behind eleven wonderful grandchildren.  Each grandchild had a unique relationship with him and he had a wonderful way of knowing everything that was going on in their lives and having conversations with each of them. No detail was too small. He celebrated their accomplishments and interests. He was compassionate when it came to their struggles and disappointments. Buck’s grandchildren knew they were loved beyond measure and will surely miss their PopPop.

A celebration of life gathering will be held on 1 August 2021 from 2 - 5pm in Gainesville, VA. Interment will be at West Point in a private service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please celebrate your health and happiness by giving your kids and grandkids a hug.


Richard Alan Buckner (Colonel, U.S. Army – retired), born in the Bronx, New York City on 2 November 1939, died 22 July 2021. Dick graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1961. On 10 June 1961 he married Patricia (Trish) O’Sullivan his high school sweetheart. He and Trish had been married for 60 years. As a cadet at West Point, Dick played intercollegiate football and lacrosse. After the 1961 lacrosse season, he was selected as an All-American defenseman. After graduation he was commissioned in the Artillery and earned his jump wings and Ranger Tab at Ft Benning, GA.  After attending the Artillery Officers Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma he reported to his first duty station with an Air Defense Artillery unit in Newhall, California protecting the City of Los Angeles from possible enemy air attack. In September 1963 he accepted an overseas assignment with the 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed on Okinawa. On 5 May 1965 he deployed with the Brigade to Vietnam. Upon completion of his first tour in Vietnam (5 May 1965- 18 April 1966) he returned to Fort Sill for the Artillery Officers Career Course. Following Ft. Sill and in preparation for his next assignment as an instructor in the Office of Physical Education at the United States Military Academy, Dick attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In June 1968 he received a Master of Science Degree in Physical Education. From June 1968 through June 1971, he served as an instructor in the Office of Physical Education (OPE), West Point, NY. During his second tour in Vietnam (29 July 1971 – 26 April 1972) Dick was the Executive Officer of the 6th Battalion 27th Field Artillery, an 8 inch -175mm Howitzer battalion located at Phu Loi. When his unit was redeployed to the United States, he was reassigned to the Redeployment & Special Projects Branch, Plans Division, at Hq US Army, Long Binh, Vietnam. This tour in Vietnam was followed by attendance at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. In July 1973 Dick changed career fields and started the Army’s Russian language program at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at the Presidio of Monterey, CA. This was followed by a 2-year stint at the US Army Russian Institute in Germany. In the summer of 1976, he was appointed to a staff officer position in the Regional Operations Division, Current Operations Branch, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (DCSOPS), at the Pentagon. For the next three years he was assigned to the Soviet Production Division, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at Arlington Hall Station in Arlington, VA. From 1981-1983 Colonel Buckner was the Army Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest Hungary. After completion of his attaché assignment, he returned to DIA as Vice Assistant Deputy Director for Research, Directorate for Foreign Intelligence (6 months) Arlington Hall Station. From July 1985 through March 1986 Colonel Buckner was the Chief/Executive Officer, Office of the Deputy Director for Foreign Intelligence, DIA located at Bolling Air Force Base. In April 1986 he attended the DLI (East Coast) Rosslyn, VA for Czech language instruction in preparation for a three-year tour (July 1987 – August 1990) as the Army Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Dick’s final assignment in the Army (14 August 1990 – 1 July 1991) was as a member of the Officer Special Review Board. Finally, on 1 July 1991, Colonel Buckner retired from the Army, he was employed by Aerospace Corporation and provided support to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). After 13 years employed by Aerospace Corporation supporting the NRO, Dick finally retired-retired in the summer of 2005.

Colonel Buckner is survived by his wife of 60 years Patricia (Trish), his three children, Elizabeth, Rich Jr, Ann Marie, nine grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, Stephen Thomas, Allison Elizabeth, Amanda Leigh, Victoria Marie, Morgan Elizabeth, Lauren Elizabeth, Alexander Ryan, Tyler Garrett, Nicole Elizabeth, Clare and Eli Yordy, and his 6 great-grandchildren.

Written by Buck himself