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American Patriotic 11


William Lee Buck

March 12, 1926 ~ August 25, 2018 (age 92)

William Lee Buck (Bill), 92, passed away on Saturday, August 25th, 2019 at Portland Care and Rehab in Portland, CT. 

Bill was born in Milwaukee, WI, to Burton Sidney Buck (1896 - 1984) and Bertha Augusta Buck, born Wicke (1901 - 1926). He spent his early years with his grandmother on the family dairy farm near Manitowoc, WI. He excelled at sports and won the Golden Gloves in boxing for Western Michigan in 1945. Bill served in the US Navy from 1944-46, and earned a Bachelor of Science from Marquette University in 1952. Although he was a pre-med major, his favorite class was metaphysics with a Jesuit professor. He left medical school to pursue a career in dance which eventually took him to Chicago and then New York City. In New York he met and married Waltrudis Mathes in 1965, with whom he had a daughter, Justine. After retiring as a dancer, he worked many different jobs, started his own company, and held a patent for a form of paint used on leather. In his later years, he worked as background talent in film and television, including movies such as Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and Dave (1993).

Bill was an irrepressible optimist who relished a challenge and made friends wherever he went. After living for many years in New York City, he traveled to 49 of the 50 states in a VW van (he flew to Hawaii) and lived for longer stretches in New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana and Albuquerque. He moved to Middletown, CT in 2012 to be near his daughter and granddaughters. Throughout his life he held a deep interest in health, vitamins, and alternative medicine, and a fascination with the idea of consciousness. He loved to discuss ideas and prized an open mind above all else.

Bill was grateful for the wonderful and caring staff at Portland Care and Rehab, as are his family. He is survived by his daughter, Justine Buck Quijada, her husband Roberto and two granddaughters, Eva Maria and Esme Maja. He loved his granddaughters tremendously, and was very proud of them. He is also survived by his ex-wife, Waltrudis Buck (born Mathes), with whom he remained close, his sister Mary Jane Kohl of Germantown, WI, and his brother Burton S. Buck, of San Antonio, Texas, as well as their spouses, several nieces and nephews, and their children.  He was well-loved and will be greatly missed.

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