Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alan Buckley 1948-2008 (Class of 1966)

1966 BHS yearbook photo

It is with a heavy heart we post this notice of the death of fellow Burbank High School Alumni Alan Buckley (class of 1966) who was tragically killed with 24 other passengers aboard the Metrolink Train on Friday September 12, 2008.

We lift their families up in prayer along with the 130 folks who were injured.

Alan Buckley, 59, Simi Valley

September 13, 2008
By Kate Linthicum
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 7:13 PM PDT

Burbank mechanic 'hated to drive and he loved trains,' his wife said. He was riding in the first car of Metrolink train 111 and died at the scene.

Alan Buckley lived his whole life with trains.The 59-year-old Simi Valley man grew up around them -- his father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad -- and he grew older with them.

Every day for more than 20 years, Buckley woke up at 4 a.m. to take the Metrolink train to Burbank, where he worked as a machine mechanic for the city. And every afternoon he rode it back home, always sitting in the first car."He hated to drive and he loved trains," Patricia Buckley, his wife of 32 years, said today. "He said that when he died he wanted to have his ashes thrown off the back of a train."On Friday, "Buck," as he was known to friends, was sitting in the first car of Metrolink train 111 when it collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train. He died on the scene, his wife said. The family found out about his death at 4 a.m. today, putting a sad end to a frantic, nearly 12-hour search.

Patricia Buckley spent Saturday trying to get over the loss of the man she called her "rock." Instead she just kept thinking about what kind of person he had been.He was an "everyday guy," she said, a strong, steady man who would do anything for his family. "He didn't want any frills and didn't like much attention," she said. "He didn't do anything heroic. He just loved his family."She said she first met the man who would become her husband when they were students at Burbank High School. She chased after him, she says, because "he was just so cute." They started dating at age 16 and were married at 19.The couple had two children. They have six grandchildren, whom Buck doted on. "He would just play with them on the floor and bake cookies with them," Patricia Buckley said.Although the whole family will miss him, Patricia says she is glad that Buck died doing something he loved."It's kind of ironic," she said. "He died on a train."

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Alan Buckley, 59, Moorpark
The son of a Union Pacific railroad worker and a train buff since he was a kid, the 59-year-old mechanic had ridden Metrolink since its maiden run in 1992. "Metrolink was his thing - that was all he lived for," said his son Jeff Buckley, of Simi Valley. "He had a scrapbook. He knew each engineer by name. They used to play jokes on him. "He even took the train on weekends."

Known as "Buck" to his fellow passengers, Buckley commuted each day from his Moorpark home to a job for the city of Burbank, where he maintained trash trucks, street sweepers and police cars for 32 years. Each day, same train, same seat, said his son. To work he sat in the rear car , which he deemed "safer." Going home he preferred to sit in front, next to the engineer.

A former Little League coach in Burbank, Buckley would never miss any of his son's basketball games at Royal High School in Simi Valley. The loyal Dodgers fan who would have turned 60 this week was also helping his son restore a 1965 Mustang, and was just starting to dabble in computers and digital photography.

Buckley is survived Tish Buckley, his wife of 38 years, his son Jeff and a daughter, Diane Buckley of Phoenix, and five grandchildren.

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September 17, 2008 UPDATE
Just received the following email from Pam... this is quite sad. May the Lord bring healing and comfort to the families in this time of loss.

Here we go again...Just got this from Chris Powers Houlihan '65...What an awful weekend (except for the Centennial) Jon Davis on Thursday, Alan Buckley on Friday in that train wreck and Pam Burket '64 over the weekend...
Savor each day...
Love, Pam

--- On Wed, 9/17/08, Chris Houlihan ---

From: Chris Houlihan
Subject: Sad news to report

Hi Pam,

What a great weekend! Our Powers family (Kathy '69, Ken '67, my mother grad of No. Hollywood High '43, and I '65) had such a marvelous time at the BHS Centennial Reunion and the many great activities. So glad we all converged on Burbank this weekend. Great to see so many old friends and to have the opportunity to make new ones.

While in Burbank, I received some very sad news about a BHS 65 classmate. Jonathan C. Davis passed away with a massive heart attack on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, at the age of 61. Jon Davis spent his senior year at BHS and went on to UCLA on a Regents' Scholarship to receive degrees in both Psych. and Math. He completed his MA and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and post graduate work at McGill University in Montreal. He had a thriving practice as a clinical psychologist in Montreal for the past 35 years. He leaves five children -- Deric 31, Tamara 28, Alexander 24, Brittany 16 and Kelsey 14. He would say that his children were his greatest accomplishment. He also leaves his three brothers Edward, James (BHS 66) and Harold (BHS 70?).

His funeral will be held on Friday, Sept. 19 at 10 AM in Montreal's Centre funeraire Cote-des-Neiges, Quebec, Canada.

Attached is a recent photo of Jon from the Montréal Gazette Sept. 17 Obituaries.

Chris Powers Houlihan BHS 65
I was married to Jon from 1968 until 1974.

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Here is Jon's yearbook photo

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