After a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s, James Everett Buckley, Jr., of Mercer Island, passed away on Christmas Eve 2017 during a rare Seattle snowstorm. He was 83.
Jim was born December 4,1934 in Portland, Oregon to Dr. James and Elizabeth Buckley in the same hospital, with the same doctor, as his future wife, Joan Boyer. He graduated from Lincoln High School which later became Portland State where he took classes. He met Joan while studying at the University of Oregon. After serving in the army in Panama during the Korean War, he graduated from Oregon State University with a combined major of Engineering and Business.
Jim had successful careers in the oil and gas industry, automotive parts distribution, construction of condominiums, and as a comptroller. He worked for a number of companies, including Tidewater/Phillips 66, General Battery and Mercer Development.
He was always interested in the buying and selling of cars which kept him occupied in his off hours. Jim’s passion for cars started young. He started driving at 14 when his mother sent him to the store for groceries. A police officer followed him home but his mother vouched for him. Thus began his lifelong ability to talk himself out of a ticket. As a teenager, he worked in Calessey’s Garage as a mechanic. This gave him the foundation for his many automotive projects. Jim enjoyed owning more than 280 cars, everything from Model T’s to the Smart Car. His passion for all things Porsche led him to accumulate quite the collection. Except for a chosen few, they were his “daily drivers,” in fact, his family car. His family of five spent quite a few miles in the close quarters of a 911. It taught them to pack light.
Another of Jim’s passions was a dedication to faith and service. He served on the vestry of Emmanuel Episcopal Church for many years as Senior Warden and treasurer. Later, he was a Lay Eucharistic Minister bringing communion to shut-ins. He was a member of the Mercer Island Rotary for 50 years. Serving as Club President from 1972-73. He went nearly 32 years with perfect attendance of meetings. He rang the Salvation Army bell at Christmas and gave out water at the half marathon.
Jim’s sense of humor, ease of conversation and loyalty will be missed by his friends and family. He was a lifelong animal lover—he kept a monkey in Panama, raised orphaned baby robins, taught his parakeet to talk—”I’m Pete the Parakeet”, and there was always a dog or cat, or sometimes both on his lap.
Family was important to Jim. He enjoyed sharing his adventures with them including boating, skiing both water and downhill, scouting, and mastering driving skills. He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Joan; his children, Richard (Dick), AmySue, and Thomas (Tom); their spouses, Pam, Bettina, Eric and Stefania; and their children Ace, Lucia, Sam, Bo, Jordano and Liliana.
On January 27, 2018 at 1pm there will be a celebration of his life at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island. Car enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their car of choice for an impromptu car show, weather permitting, in the church parking lot after the service.
Memorials may be sent to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.